I had a meeting the other day with a gentleman I admire greatly. He's really a super individual: smart, very business savvy, has a great heart for important causes and practices the art of service -- in other words, the ideal Rotarian. I had originally met him at a Rotary club where I was speaking, so I had always believed he WAS a Rotarian. Imainge my surprise when he told me he wasn't actually a Rotarian, but he had been made an honorary Rotarian because of his service to both the club and the community as a whole.
I found this quite surprising. When I asked him why he didn't become an actual Rotarian, his answer surprised me: he shared with me very frankly that, in his opinion, there were too many people in the club that, while they all talked about the importance of The 4-Way Test, they didn't really live it.
Now, this happened several days ago, but it stuck in my craw and has been bugging me ever since. I've had the same experiences myself, I have to admit, and it really troubles me when a fellow Rotarian behaves in a way that goes against the principles of The 4-Way Test. Especially when they act that way toward other Rotarians.
For those of you who may not be Rotarians but are reading this blog, let me quickly cite its four principles so you know what we're talking about. In the 4-Way Test, we Rotarians are encouraged to consider...
In all we think, say or do…:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER friendships?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Now, I've certainly discussed the individual meaning of the points of The 4-Way Test in other posts, so I don't plan to do that again here. Feel free to look those up if you want to explore its meaning and significance more deeply. What I do want to talk about is the importance of not only reciting it, but the importance of believing it and living it, if you are truly bought into the purpose and meaning of Rotary. (more…)