Rotary Club of Columbia Patuxent

4 Way Speech Contest Highlights - 2/24/12

At last week's meeting, 4 Hammond High School Interact club members participated in a speech contest where they were asked what Rotary's 4 Way Test Means to them.  

For those unfamiliar with the history behind the four way test:

In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created The Four-Way Test, a code of ethics adopted by Rotary 11 years later. The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


The contestants were John Lamberton, Miranda Pham, Sabir Shrestha, and Roberto Lopez.  All were competing for a shot at $100 and a trip to the semi-finals in Glen Burnie, Md.

Here are the Highlights via Darrell Nevin's Eggstra Newsletter:

  • John Lamberton went first and found out really quickly how disconnected one’s tongue can get from one’s brain when unprepared to give a speech. He chose to move to the end of the line and reloaded from the 4th starting gate. His speech eventually covered the unusual topic of Ginger Phobia, fear of red heads, and how they are discriminated against! [Was it Caroline Sherman that caused him to freeze up at the podium?] 
  • Miranda Pham covered an interesting topic on “rationalizing injustice” in the way some are unfairly stigmatized by society, relating one story about a gentleman with AIDS she met while working in a doctor’s office. She also participated in the DC SlutWalk, part of a worldwide grassroots movement challenging rape culture, victim-blaming and slut-shaming, and working to end sexual and domestic violence. 
  • Sabir Shrestha from Nepal spoke on the high rate of suicide in India due to parental pressures on young people. As an example of unfairness, he wants to pursue a music career - parents want him in Engineering. He claims the suicide rate in graduate school is almost 50%! 
  • Roberto Lopez spoke meekly about dangers of physical and emotional bullying, which hinders personal freedom and individual rights to be oneself. Eliciting the Golden Rule, he cited a statistic that bullies are 4 times as likely to have criminal records by the time they reach age 24. He was a victim of bullying when he attended a new middle school. Terrified still to be judged, yet there he was giving this speech. And a winner it was. 

We want to thank all the contestants for doing a great job.  Congratulations to Roberto Lopez who took home the prize and is heading to semi-finals!  Also a special thanks to Phil Komornick and Kellie Lego for organizing and coaching the kids!

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