Every Rotarian knows The Four Way Test – How many can repeat it? But more importantly, how many can live The Four Way Test? Twenty-four words – that’s all there is to it.
The Four Way Test of the Things We Think, Say, or Do.
1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Best fitting into Vocational Service, this principle can be applied profitably in relations with others in the home, community, business, national and international life; particularly to proposed legislation in government, to relations between teachers and students in school.
The test was written in 1932 by Herbert J. Taylor, who had been assigned to represent the creditors of the Club Aluminum Co. and whose task was saving the company from bankruptcy. He decided that the nearly defunct corporation needed something that his competitors did not have in equal amounts – the character, dependability, and service-mindedness of their employees.
He discussed the four questions with four of his department heads – one a Roman Catholic, one a Christian Scientist, the third an Orthodox Jew, and the fourth a Presbyterian. They all agreed that truth, justice, friendliness and happiness coincided with their religious ideals and when constantly applied in the business world would result in greater success and progress. Results were just tremendous and Herbert J. Taylor turned this nearly bankrupt company into a leader in their industry. In 1954-55, this same Herbert Taylor became president of RI.
How do you promote The Four Way Test? Some clubs have a banner displayed at their meetings, others sponsor an essay contest in the high schools on the subject. One club has souvenir coins with The Test imprinted, which they give to visiting Rotarians and guests – billboards which are seen in many languages – framed copies furnished to libraries, hospitals and schools for public viewing. One of the more popular methods is the furnishing of school book covers printed with The Four Way Test prominently displayed. Most clubs furnish new members with a copy for hanging in their offices.
Living it in our daily lives – the six key words are all you need to remember: TRUTH FAIR GOODWILL BETTER FRIENDSHIPS BENEFICIAL
Remember these – your company, your family, your community, our world will be better.