The Four-Way Test
Is it the TRUTH? There is a timelessness in truth that is unchangeable. Truth cannot exist without justice.
Is it FAIR to all concerned? The substitution of fairness for the harsh principles of doing business at arm's length has improved rather than hurt business relationships.
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Man is by nature a cooperative creature and it is his natural instinct to express love.
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? This question eliminates the dog-eat-dog principle of ruthless competition and substitutes the idea of constructive and creative competition.
The Four-Way Test is international, transcending national boundaries and language barriers. It knows no politics, dogma or creed. More than a code of ethics, it has all the ingredients for a successful life in every way. It can and will work in today's society.
The final test is in the doing. William James, the noted psychologist, once said, "The ultimate test of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires." At the heart of Rotary today is The Four-Way Test — a call to moral excellence. Human beings can grow together. Modern business can be honest and trustworthy. People can learn to believe in one another. At the 1977 R.I. Convention, James S. Fish of the U.S. Better Business Bureaus said, "To endure, the competitive enterprise system must be practiced within the framework of a strict moral code. Indeed, the whole fabric of the capitalistic system rests to a large degree on trust . . . on the confidence that businessmen and women will deal fairly and honestly, not only with each other, but also with the general public, with the consumer, the stockholder and the employee."
Few things are needed more in our society than moral integrity. The Four-Way Test will guide those who dare to use it for worthy objectives: choosing, winning, and keeping friends; getting along well with others; ensuring a happy home life; developing high ethical and moral standards; becoming successful in a chosen business or profession; and becoming a better citizen and better example for the next generation.
Eloquently simple, stunning in its power, undeniable in its results, The Four-Way Test offers a fresh and positive vision in the midst of a world full of tension, confusion and uncertainty.