Divine Friendships

Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cities
Cheyenne Bartlett, Third Place
Grade 9, High School Division
Mrs. Bishop, Arroyo Grande High School

George Eliot once said, “Perhaps the most delightful friendships are
those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet
more personal liking.”  These delightful friendships adhere to the 4-
Way Test.  The 4-Way Test consists of four questions, ”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?”  If everyone ap-
plied these questions to their life, most everyone would have better
friendships.  The 4-Way Test encourages relationships, increases
trust and helps alleviate problems.
This test is promising to relationships if we share the truth with oth-
ers.  First of all, Kahill Gibran quoted, “Truth is a deep kindness that
teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the peo-
ple the same happiness.”  Truth needs to be shared with other people
so they can have happiness also.  If we keep that happiness to our-
selves, our happiness will not rub off on anyone.  Second of all, it is
one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults.  “So
to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him and to
speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship,” said
Henry Ward Beecher.  True friends tell each other everything, even
faults.  It is helpful to the relationship if they are truthful, that way the
friend can fix whatever is wrong.  In conclusion, truthful friends make
for a better relationship.
The 4-Way Test also supplements trust through the truth and listen-
ing.  For example, David Hume once said, “Truth springs from an ar-
gument amongst friends.”  If a dispute arises with a friend, eventually
the truth will start to show.  Arguments usually include what people
don’t like about each other and that must mean the truth.  For in-
stance, Rachel Naomi Remen once stated,  “The most basic and
powerful way to connect to another person is to listen.  Just  listen.
Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our at-
tention…A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to con-
nect than the most well-intentioned words.”  If one just listens to their
friend it will show that they want to hear what the friend has to say.
Silence shows that there is a desire for a better friendship.  Therefore,
if one is to aspire for a better relationship, they need to speak the
truth and hear what the other person has to say. to them so they can
fix it.
If a friend is being gossiped about or insulted by others, this test will
help.  To begin with, Ecclesiastes 6:14 states, “A faithful friend is a
strong defense; and he that hath found such a one hath found a treasure.”

Friends who are very allegiant will stand up for you in a
bad situation.  If they are true friends they will not have to question if
they are doing the right thing. Similarly, as in a personal experience of
mine, a person once came up to me when I was younger and insulted
me saying that I had something wrong with me, but my friend stepped
in and told him that he was rude to say that.  Even when I was being
insulted, she did not just stand there and watch, she actually did
something about it.  From then on our friendship has been abiding.
Henceforth, true friends will assist you in your times of trouble.
As a result, although friendships require many things to make them
a lasting correspondence, if you desire to have a better relationship
with someone, you will apply the 4-Way Test to your life and you will
have surpassing friendships.  The 4-Way Test can help in many dif-
ferent ways to build up friendships and trust.  Don’t wait to be a better
friend.  “The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.  I
have no wealth to bestow on him.  If he knows that I am happy in lov-
ing him, he will want no other reward.  Is not friendship divine in this?”
Henry David Thoreau.



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