Living Out the 4-Way Test

Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cities
Jacob Kephart, First Place
Grade 8, Middle School Division
Mrs. Hjalmarson, Paulding

What would you do if someone treated you poorly? How would you respond? Would you seek revenge? My dad experienced a situation like this last year. However, he did not seek revenge but instead responded with good will and truth. This example, along with the consistently fair and truthful manner in which he lives his life, has been a powerful example to me of how to apply the 4-Way Test in every situation: is it the truth, is it fair, will it build good will and better friendships, and will it be beneficial to all concerned?
To begin with, my dad showed me what true honesty is. It started when a little league coach told my dad that he wanted to coach the all-star team with him. A lot of guys who had kids in the league told my dad that their kids wanted to play on his all-star team. When the time came for the draft, the little league coach decided that he wanted to take the older all-star team and put his son on it. One of the reasons this happened was that a few of the men whose kids were in the league told the coach to take the older team and put their kids on that team as well. This coach lied to my dad and left him without a coach and with few players to choose from. However, my dad confronted the coach, spoke to him in honesty and kindness, and refused to spread gossip.
My dad always showed fairness to the coach and the other men who lied to him. For example, the coach needed a job and asked my dad to help him get one at the prison where my dad works. My dad, who could have refused to help, decided to help him get a job. I was shocked when he did this, but then realized that it was the right thing to do. Also, one of the guys who lied to my dad asked my dad to help his kids get on a throwing program, and my dad helped him without giving it a second thought. My dad’s actions showed me what true fairness is.
Another important thing my dad did was build friendships with the men who wronged him. This not only benefited him and the men but the whole league as well. Even with what happened to my dad, he and the coach who had lied put together a club team. My dad talks with this coach and the other men involved on a regular basis. They are all friends because of how my dad treated them.
I learned what the 4-Way Test is by watching my dad live it. The 4-Way Test is not
just reading words over and over, but letting those words change you from the inside out. This change will result in living these principles on a daily basis. That is how my dad is, and this the way I am striving to be.

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