Winners of the Luverne Rotary Club 4-Way Test Essay are (from left) Ellie Hodgen, Ainslie Robinson and Elise Jarchow.

Jarchow's essay wins local Rotary contest

Local sixth-graders recently learned about truth, fairness, good will and team benefits through the Luverne Rotary Club’s Four-Way Test.

 The Four-Way Test is the ethical code that Rotarians live by, challenging them to ask four simple questions:

•Is it the truth?

•Is it fair to all concerned?

•Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

•Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

To engage students in the code, the Luverne Rotary Club sponsors an annual essay contest for Luverne sixth-graders in Jan Olson’s English class.

The essay must be 200 to 500 words in length, and it must address the question, “How can I apply the Four-Way test to my life?”

Elise Jarchow was the first-place winner, and Ellie Hodgen was second and Ainslie Robinson third. 

The three students and their parents attended the April 21 Rotary Club meeting in Luverne where they read their essays and were awarded their prizes.

Jarchow’s winning essay has been forwarded to the Rotary Club district president for a districtwide contest.

How to apply the Four-Way Test to my life

By Elise Jarchow

Do you feel like you’re missing something in your life? Or maybe you just have trouble with saying mean things that hurt other people’s feelings? If you do, or even if you don’t and you just want to learn about something new, then you’re reading the right thing.

The Four-Way Test has four simple steps to ask yourself including, “Is it the truth?”, “Is it fair to all concerned?”, “Will it build goodwill and better friendship?”, and “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” These steps might be just the thing you need.

First, ask yourself, “Is it the truth?” For example, if someone were going to say something mean to someone else, they should ask themselves, “Is it the truth?” before saying it. Also, if you hear something from another person, you shouldn’t repeat it unless you know for a fact that it is true. I would also ask myself how I would feel if someone said that about me. I, for one, probably wouldn’t feel too good.

Next, ask yourself, “Is it fair to all concerned?” Is it fair for you to say something mean about somebody that probably isn’t true or isn’t nice to say to their face? If it isn’t, then you probably shouldn’t say it and instead maybe say something nice that is true. Also, if it isn’t fair to all concerned, you should try to make it as fair as possible so that no one feels left out, hurt, or lonely.

Then ask yourself, “Will it build good will and better friendships?” If someone is saying mean things about another person, you could ask that person if they think what they’re saying is building any friendships. You might even tell them that what they’re doing is wrong and they should stop. Bullying others doesn’t build better friendships or goodwill unless the bully and the person being bullied become friends!

Finally, ask yourself, “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” If a bystander were to report the bullying to an adult, it would be very beneficial to the adult to know what is going on so that they can do something about it. When a bully gets into trouble, it might not be very beneficial to them, but it would definitely be beneficial to the person being bullied and also their friends. It could also be beneficial to the bystander who reports it to an adult because they might be awarded for helping instead of just watching.

So, now that you’ve learned a little bit about how to apply the Four-Way Test to your life, why don’t you try it out for yourself!

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