Ken Beaton: It’s time to eliminate divisiveness |

Ken Beaton: It’s time to eliminate divisiveness

Ken Beaton
The Rotary Clock in front of the Nevada State Legislature.

Here’s four short sentences that if you followed exactly, you’d never have to come up with any lame excuse similar to: “It was HER idea to eat the apple!” “The Devil made me do it!” “I screwed up!”

If you’re out and about in Carson City, you might see me walking 10,000 plus steps a day. One of the advantages of walking is I observe more than if I was driving a car or riding a bike. If I’m walking, I can’t rear-end the vehicle in front of me, or take a “header” while riding my bike. OK, there’s a couple of you thinking, “Ken, you could trip and fall.”

Last week I walked past the east side of the Rotary Clock in front of the Nevada State Legislature on the east side of South Carson Street. The East side of the Rotary clock has the Rotary Four-Way Test, words of wisdom.

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

4. Will it build good will and better friendship?

The Rotary Four-Way Test isn’t only for Rotarians. It’s for each of the 7 billion people on this planet.

I’m saddened our country has become more divisive in the past couple of years. Twitter and Facebook seem to have more negative comments than a couple of years ago. It reminds me of two siblings bickering. If there’s one thing needed in the hearts and minds of every American, it’s more good will and friendship!

What if everyone asked themselves the Four-Way questions before sending out a Tweet? I know we’d have a better world. There wouldn’t be anyone saying, “I took some Ambien.” Come on now, you and I know Ambien is a pill. Ambien doesn’t know how to use a smart phone and doesn’t have fingers to send a Tweet.

As a kid, my mom taught me to own up to what I did. If she smelled cigarette smoke on my breath, she didn’t accept me telling her, “But Mom, they weren’t my cigarettes! Casey (my best friend) stole his Dad’s cigs!” Or, “Mom, I didn’t want to be an outcast by being the only kid not smoking!” “Mom, you were never a kid! You don’t understand what I have to go through each day to fit in!”

Listen to the voice of experience. It’s better to face the truth and own my problem(s). Notice, I didn’t say it was the less difficult or less humiliating. I said it’s better to “man-up” and own the problem. By the way, if you’re a married male, “Yes Dear,” is an important phrase to remember.

In summation, remember the Rotary Four-Way Test each time you’re tempted. Don’t listen to the bad angel sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear. Remember if you don’t do something wrong, you won’t have to be humiliated and take your punishment.

As a 43-year resident of Carson City, I’m aware rumors travel at the speed of light in our community. Remember, if you man up and are the first to mention whatever it is you did wrong. The other person (friend or foe) doesn’t have any verbal mud to sling at you!

Remember, Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendship? Eliminate divisiveness.