The Rotary 4-Way Test and Me by Natalie Garcia

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Natalie Garcia, Third Place
Grade 7,  Judkins Middle
Teacher: Barbara Babka

Elizabeth and her husband Dana were Christian missionaries. They had three children named Nick, Alice, and Kara. I never met a closer family than theirs. She was a loving mother until the day she passed away. Elizabeth had a disease that paralyzed her and did not let her do anything. It really was strange. The woman that had traveled all over the world spreading God’s word was condemned to spend the next decade of her life suffering and under her loving family’s care. Although she had been an almost perfect angel she had to suffer. Elizabeth did not deserve this pain yet she never complained. I truly believe that Elizabeth lived by the 4-Way Test without knowing it. She taught her children to live good lives and in my opinion they, too, live by this principles of the 4-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? I doubt any of them know this test exists yet they show it in their lives every day better than anyone.

Is it the truth? Elizabeth was an honest, sincere woman. Honesty was important to her and it is important to me. I am definitely not a perfect person; I do spit out lies sometimes. Whenever I say a lie, I feel an anchor of guilt weighing me down like chains. See, the world needs honesty. It’s like a diamond in a pile of rocks. If everybody had this diamond and used it daily then the world would be more peaceful. I know that we can’t just stop lying all at once since lies are almost addictive but we can all do our best and try to avoid it. Elizabeth would have sincerely loved that.

Is it fair to all concerned? Fairness is a meaningful thing to remember to have at all times. Elizabeth was kind and fair to everybody. She only had three children of her own yet she was a mother to boys and girls in Albania, Africa, and most of all, America. She included the outcasts in her games and activities and became friends with the wallflowers. This equality was something Elizabeth endeavored to achieve. She was always fair and although the world was not fair to her, she kept on giving and including. For her sake, I will continue her work of making everyone feel included in Judkins Middle School.

Will it build good will and better friendships? Elizabeth had friends all over the world. Her college-graduated children and her husband Dana have followed her to different countries, each making friends in these places. Even though Elizabeth has been ill almost as long as I have been alive, I like to pretend she would have been an amazing friend with wise words to say. There are so many stories floating around the walls of Grace Bible Church telling how Elizabeth was brave, strong, wise, loving, warm, motherly, or funny. Most of the stories are about friendships. She thought about her future words and because of it, she had strong relationships. I often am careless with my words. My carelessness goes against the rule because it pushes aside good will and destroys friendships. I don’t want to break this rule further so I choose to treasure this principle in my heart.

Last but not least, will it be beneficial to all concerned? Nowadays we have translated this to “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Elizabeth’s sister said Elizabeth never had a mean word to say about anybody. As I mentioned, I am no angel. I need to think of what I am going to say so that I don’t hurt anybody. This principle is, for me, the most important to remember. I will definitely benefit from the 4-Way test and I hope that by showing these rules in my daily life, others will see that these principles help improve my behavior.

 
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