Monday, November 5, 2012

Community Commitment and the Rotary 4-way Test

Giving back to community is probably one of the most rewarding things we can do to feel like our efforts are going directly to something benefical and tangible - to many, volunteering is much more rewarding than writing a check.

I believe in giving back of my time, money and talents--throughout my life I have always had the desire to give back to assist those less fortunate and to organizations that improve our way of life.  In High School I was involved in the American Red Cross working in assisted care homes, and in my college years assisted Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and KVIE Public TV  with phone banks and events ......Over the last decade  I  served on the Advisory Board for The Elk Grove Food Bank, and the Board for the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber PAC and Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation. 

But my absolute favorite volunteer organization is Rotary.

In 1999, I was invited to a Rotary meeting by a friend of mine and past District Governor.  By the end of the first meeting, I realized Rotary's mission in my community, in our country and in the world closely aligned with my values,  and I subsequently became a member.  Now, Rotary does much good in the world, from their huge push to eradicate Polio  (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has commited hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the campaign) to providing wheelchairs or fresh water to people in 3rd world countries.  Locally, our clubs in the 5180 Disctrict do much good around the region such as building park enchancements, assisting families at Christmas and building gardens at Elementary schools so children can learn the skills needed to grow their own vegetables.

But the lure that Rotary dangled that I bit on was the 4-way Test of the things we think, say and do.  This is so powerful, and on a daily basis I try really hard to meet this standard.

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?

That's it, 4 simple questions.  If you already meet this standard in your daily dealings, good for you!  What this test challenges me to do every day, with every interaction I have with co-workers, clients, family, friends, etc... is to live my life as honestly and fairly as I am able to.

You do not have to be a Rotarian to live by this standard; many of you are religious and live your lives according to the above test already. But it is nice to have an easy standard to help guide us through our days, assist us in our daily dealings and decisions, and sets us up for solid long term relationships with clients, coworkers and friends that know who we are, what we're about and most importantly, trust us. 

For more information on Rotary go to

For more information on the 4 way test, go to

Have a great week!