THE ROTARY FOUR-WAY TEST AS A GUIDE TO DAILY LIVING
 
FIRST, IS IT THE TRUTH, SECOND, IS IT FAIR TO ALL CONCERNED,
 
THIRD, WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
 
So I was teaching a group of men aged forty to eighty-something, representing a wide-arc of the social, political and economic makeup of our community when the opening presented itself to talk about "right living" as opposed to "right talking about right living." Sensing that as a visiting teacher with little to lose I could push the envelope a bit, I chose to do just that. I tossed out that I often fall back on the Rotary Four-Way Test as my daily guide for living in addition to the moral compass my personal theology provides. A couple of the guys heard my words as sweet music, and others were envisioning where they could assemble the stake upon which I would be burned. Somewhere in the middle is where I wanted to settle. I wanted to stimulate thought and stretch them, not gain an automatic following; and, as an inhaler-carrying asthmatic I did not fancy being set on fire. We continued to discuss, or in my case defend, and in the end we left in peace with a stronger appreciation for the beauty of codes, creeds and short statements of purpose.
 
Rotarians are known worldwide for their service but according to our test we should be known primarily as some of the most ethical people on the planet. Of the things we think, say or do...which sums up pretty much, well, everything, the truth should be evident, followed by an overarching fairness. We should be men and women that other men and women aspire to be like. We should inspire the kind of ethical confidence in others that would lead people to seek us out for business or counsel simply because we are Rotarians. The bar should be high because we have raised the bar.
 
In a world where the greater good has been surpassed by a Kardashian-inspired myopia on the individual, someone has to swing the focus back to the needs of the masses. By our test, our creed, that can be each of us...one relationship at a time. It's a very Christian thing to do; it's a very Hebrew thing to do; I'm guessing Buddhists are leading the pack on this one; actually I picked up on this as a Boy Scout. This is not to say it's easy, it is not; and, just because we know it to be the right thing to do doesn't mean it's our default action. To seek to build goodwill and better friendships with each thing we think, say and do is at the heart of being a proper Rotarian, however. It is my goal to think on this every day and to aspire to make a small difference in the world. It's important because I'm a person of faith. It's important because I wear the Rotary pin. It's important because other people are important.
 
"I don't feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.

"There, there," said Piglet. "I'll bring you tea and honey until you do."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A.A. Milne


"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."  
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Desmond Tutu


Michael McCullar