The Deadliest Weapon…
…remains our very own words.
It’s been that way from the beginning, but with the popularization of the Internet and ancillary developments such as instant messaging and especially blogging, search engines like Google and AllTheWeb and archives like The Wayback Machine or Google’s Usenet archive, our words as weapons now have greater range, firepower and fallout than ever before. Exercise your right to free speech by all means (if and while you have it), but remember that freedom untempered by responsibility is a sham.
In the Philippines, you can’t go very far in a major city without running into a sign showing the Rotary Club’s “4 Way Test”, which is how I became familiar with it. Written in 1932 by Rotary Club member Herbert Taylor, it is a twenty-four word code of ethics — complete with some rather regrettable CAPITALIZATION — that he wanted his employees to follow in their business and professional lives. Rotary International adopted the 4 Way Test in 1943, and it has since been translated into over 100 languages.
THE 4 WAY TEST
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIP?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Learn it. Live it.
Food for Thought
This posting was partially inspired by Objectionable Content’s
quoting of Sai Baba:
Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true? Does it improve on the silence?
(Yes, I’m aware that there’s something sketchy about Sai Baba)
Thou can’st not joke an enemy into a friend, but thou may’st a friend into an enemy.”
— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac