How To Live a Better Life

District 6450 Winner
Rotary Club of Morris
Ashley Vaksdal, Second Place
Saratoga School, Morris, IL
Teacher: Angela Roe

Here’s a hypothetical situation. You’re working at a horse ranch, and the horse you just rode is all sweaty and covered with dirt and gravel. You smell, you’re hot, you’re sweaty, and you really want to go home and take a shower. But, you know you need to do your job and groom the horse, but of course, you don’t feel like doing it. What would you do? Well, this is a good time to apply the Four-Way Test to your job. The Four-Way Test involves four questions you should ask yourself in a situation like this. One, are you being fair to the horse? Two, are you being truthful to your boss? Three, are you being friendly to the horse by not grooming it? And four are you being beneficial to others.

The first question to ask yourself is, am I being fair to the horse? In my opinion, the answer is no. If you have been running all day through dirt and mud, I think you would like to be cleansed just as well as the horse. If you think about it, you’re not only being unfair, you’re being lazy by not doing your job. It only takes about five to ten minutes to brush off a horse and scrape the sweat off. If you don’t clean off your horse, you’re being unfair to not only the horse, but a few other people too. Someone who is responsible will end up cleaning you’re horse just because you don’t feel like doing it. Upsetting, the second person you’re being unjust to is yourself. If you think you can get away with this, you’ll end up attempting to get away many other things too by and by in life.

The next inquiry you should ask yourself is are you being truthful to you boss? Because the ranch is your job and duty, you should do it well and put 100% into it all the time. If you were a boss, would you want to pay someone who slacks on the job and never gets anything done? I wouldn’t, and I don’t think you would either. Say the next morning when you come into work, your boss asks you why the horses are filthy and muddy. What would you say? To be a better person, you should say that you’re story and you’ll work and extra hour today, but we all know that it’s a very difficult to do that. We all wish we could be truthful, but we’re not all the time. If you ask yourself this question, you should be eager to tell the truth because you realize that it’s the appropriate thing to do.

The third, and what I think is the most important question is are you being friendly to your horse? If I were all dirty and smelly, of course I wouldn’t want to stay like that all night. Well, neither does a horse. I think that horses feel worse that people do when we’re dirty. Obviously horses have fur. If they get muddy, when the mud dries, it gets hard and crusts to their fur. Also, it can hurt them if there is too much dirt and especially gravel in their shoes. They can’t get that stuff out by themselves, so they have to wait until someone cleans their shoes for them. It’s like leaving little pebbles in a friend’s shoes and they’re not able to get them out by themselves. You’re not being very kind to that person, and the same thing goes for the horse. Horses run all day. The least you can do is be friendly and clean them off.

Lastly, you should ask yourself, am I being beneficial to others? If you don’t groom your horse, someone else is bound to feel sorry for it and take time out of their day to do your job. Coming into work the next day, and I realized the horse that I rode night before, is now clean, I’d be grateful, but I’d feel bad that someone else did my job just because I didn’t feel like it.

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