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Alex Meiberg’s Rotary Essay

A sixth grader's essay was recognized as Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise Club, and the club wants to recognize the student's talent.

The district review team will conduct its review and announce the winners in each school level
to the local sponsoring Rotary club by April 27 2008 to allow the clubs to announce to their
schools before the end of the school year.
Due March 21, 2008
Alex Meiburg. Monte Vista
2/21/08
The Four-Way Test
The FourWay test is a group of tests for any action that you do. that tells if it is
worth doing. It has four tests:
1. Is it the truth?
2 Is it lair to everone’
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Is it beneficial to everyone?
Together, these four tests can tell, for any action that you do, if it is harming anyone. If
everyone checked their actions in this way befi.re acting, the world would be a much
better piace These tests are, of course, general, and they should not always be taken
100% literally, but still should be generally obeyed.
The first test, “Is it the truth?” is important. It does not mean that you have to
announce all of your innermost secrets, hut you should never say something that you
know is not true. This test has obvious implications. Lying can, in some cases, be a
federal crime, and get you into prison! You should never lie, and this is one test which all
of us are ver aware of in the form of our conscience. This test is built into our guilt
systems, and guilt is a very basic emotion. No wonder its test number one!
Tests two and four are very similar, Test two asks, “Is it fair to everyone?’ and
test four asks “Is it beneficial to everyone?” Together, they say that, whatever you do, it
has to not hurt anyone, only help them, and everyone has to be helped by about the same
amount. These tests make sure that you never cheat anyone else, or hurt them from your
gain. In the end, these tests will prevent people from mistrusting you, finding you unfair,
and perhaps disliking you. These two tests ensure that everyone gets an even cut, and
nobody loses anything. These tests we are also conscious of at a very deep level.
With the third test, “Does it build goodwill and better friendships?” it is a little bit
less obvious what it means. It makes sure that no two (or more) people get “pushed apart”
from any actions, and that you do not do anything that will cause any to wish anyone any
harm. Let us look at an example situation. Say that you are the father of the house, and
you get to make all the large decisions. Test three would prevent you from moving the
family to another state, because many of your, your wife’s, and your children’s
friendships would be destroyed. In another example, if you were the head of a company,
deciding whom to promote to VP, test three would say that should not hire your own
niece, because this could make many other potential VPs to wish harm to you and your
niece. Whereas if you just promoted any old Joe, people might be disappointed, but
unless they are violent or easily angered, they would not mind.
Altogether, these tests make sure we do as little harm to everything as possible.
Every one of them is necessary, and nothing is missing. There are not any loopholes if
everyone used these tests, everyone would be much more satisfied with each other, and
everyone would be happier. Even if we do not realize it, we all ask ourselves theses
questions all the time, and we hear our conscience speaking. These tests are our
conscience.

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