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The Four Way Test in action


In the Rotary, we are always focusing on the Four Way test as our moral code. I thought it would be really nice to cascade this idea to non-rotarians as well to start doing it in their real life. It was initially written by Herbert Taylor from Chicago in 1930s, then adopted by the Rotary International in 1940s when Taylor was the International Director of Rotary. Then the copyrights moved to Rotary in 1954.


The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings for the things we think, say, or do.

Below I will try to explain the four-way test more with a real-life example related to bullying to build on my previous article about the UN anti-bullying campaign. I will talk about Lizzie Velasquez's bullying story.


First, Is it the truth? your sayings & actions need to be true. Don't spread rumors or lies as it harms the human relationships. Lizzie Velasquez; people have decided that she is the ugliest woman on Earth and someone has posted a hit video on YouTube explaining the reasons when Lizzie was only 17. The effect on her was really negative, crying for too long.


Second, Is it fair to all concerned? your sayings & actions need to be fair to all parties. Don't be the reason why someone feels odd or not enough. Is bulling fair to the bullied as it is for the bullier? Does the person who has posted the video felt the same feelings as Lizzie did? Before taking action think deeply if it is fair or not.


Third, Will it build goodwill & better friendship? your sayings & actions need to build new networks. I deeply believe that we are living to create better relationships and networks. Building on the same example, if we called Lizzie "ugly" would this build better relationships? or even worse this will break all relation.


Fourth, Will it be beneficial to all concerned? your sayings & actions need to benefit all parties. Was this video beneficial to Lizzie as it was beneficial to the person uploading it? I can understand that the person uploading the video benefited through having more followers. Do you think it was the same case to Lizzie?


Lizzie Velasquez now is a role-model, motivational speaker, writer, and YouTuber. She was born with a rare congenital disease (only 200 cases reported worldwide till 2014) which makes her body fat-less and she is not able to gain weight. She was bullied since Kindergarten, which motivated her to reach where she currently is. When she was 17, she has found a YouTube video "The world ugliest woman. A video that lasts for 8 seconds, has thousands of hateful comments around how she should kill herself. So, Lizzie sat thinking about what is defining her? Then, she reached a conclusion to let her actions and accomplishments define her instead of letting the hateful speech define her. She has decided to graduate, write books, become a motivational speaker, and having a career path. At the end she now defines herself through her accomplishments not her syndrome that let "someone" call her the ugliest on Earth.


What do you think? Will you start applying the same in your life? Will you put the four way test in action and learn from Lizzie's story? Will you let your accomplishments define you? Will you believe in being the good person around?

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