This weeks message is about the 4-way test, and why it is important to Rotarians. I would like to concentrate on rule #2, IS IT FAIR TO ALL CONCERNED?
I think it is pretty clear we need to be fair and considerate to all people and their views. All is pretty encompassing: men, women, all races, all religions,rich, poor, all workers, the unemployed, the homeless, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. We may not agree with them or their views and that is our right, but we have to be FAIR to them and their views.
Fair is defined as: just, equitable, open-minded, honest, upright, ect. It isn’t easy being FAIR to ALL. Does our press do that? Do most of our politicians and the political parties do that? I think not. But as Rotarians we are supposed to do that. We should not suppress opinions we don’t agree with, the minority viewpoint, or the viewpoint of minorities.
If you start out a conversation with, “Everybody knows that…..( and give your opinion on anything),” you aren’t being fair to anyone who might not share your view. I can also guarantee that whoever you are, not everyone will share your view! But trying to meet this very difficult task is what we sign up to do as Rotarians. So in everything we do we need to be fair. Much like the lesson we learned as kids ……..treat others as you want them to treat you. When we ask questions of a speaker we might not agree with, we need to be respectful of his or her views and not try to change them with ours. We need to be mindful of what we say to others and be inclusive of all people and their ideas.
This week I have been in a conversation with some of you on this very issue involving partisan politics today. Our PE Raquel Hecht said it best, “We should think of ways to feel that our club is an oasis away from the political heat of today, as opposed to yet another creator of tensions.” We need to be fair to All Concerned, especially those we might not agree with.
Rules 3 and 4 of the 4-Way test only reinforce the above.