Honestly when I heard of YLI and signed up to go I was thinking ‘what am I getting
myself into?’ ‘I can’t believe I paid good money to go to a boring leadership camp. I won’t learn
anything that I don’t already know.’ I can’t tell you how wrong I was with those initial thoughts.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that during those 5 days I learned from some very
special people how to become a great leader and a great person, and I was also taught an
essential concept that I will use throughout my life: the Rotary Club 4- Way Test.
Picture this: you are going into your sophomore or junior year of high school. You love
soccer and it has been your favorite sport since you were a little kid. The fall season has just
ended and you are at the final meeting of the season. Your coach calls you over; he wants to talk
to you. He tells you that you need to start taking steroids. He says it will help out the team and
it will help you get a starting spot on the varsity team. As he says this, there is an implicit
meaning in his words that, if you do not agree, there won’t be a place on the team for you next
What should you do? What can you do? Do you go along with him, or tell him you
won’t do it? This is where your true character is revealed. It’s times like these when the rotary
club 4-way test comes in very handy. To use the 4-way test in this situation ask yourself, ‘Is it
truth?’ In this case it is not truth because steroids are illegal. ‘Is it fair to all concerned?’ Taking
steroids is definitely not fair. It is not fair to your other teammates trying out for the team and it
is not fair to the teams you play because you have an unfair advantage. ‘Is it beneficial to all?’
No, it is not, because steroids can be harmful to you and to those who are close to you. ‘Will it
build goodwill and better friendships?’ There is no way steroids will build better friendships. In
fact, the side effects will do the opposite….