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ROTARY CLUB OF GILROY GILROY ROTARY ESSAY CONTEST The Third Annual Gilroy Rotary Club’s “Four-Way Test” Essay Contest was open to all Gilroy Unified high school English and Social Studies classes. The theme was based on Rotary’s belief in the Four- Way Test; Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Students from Christopher High School, Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early Academy, and Pacific Point par- ticipated. First place winners each received $100 and second place winners received $50. Hayden Jungling won the Editors Choice Award. TODAY sponsored the awards and chose the winning essay for publication. Other first place winners were Rachel Gorelik (GECA) and Kaleb Windsor (Pacific Point). gmh Front Row: Jill Fortino (Committee Chair), Jacqueline Sanchez (CHS),Rachel Gorelik (GECA) Tobias Tankersley (GECA) and J. Chris Mickartz, Back Row: Whitney Pintello (Rotary President),Kaleb Windsor (Pacific Point), Hayden Jungling, (CHS) and Larry J. Mickartz. A Cro-Magnon man bounds through the forests of northern Europe, spear in hand and bow on back. His brothers surround him in the chase of the hunt for prey. Quick on the lookout for the closest related being to him on Earth, homo neanderthalensis, Neanderthals. For thou- sands of years humans survived in tribes, lived in tribes, and settled lands in tribes. While we have moved passed this primitive stage of human evolution, we still relapse back into our own “tribes” when faced with adversities. These tribes tend to spread lies, render deceit, erect hostility, and only seek to further their own goals and peoples. In short, tribalism thrives on and creates the exact opposite standards that are the center- piece of The Four Way Test. In my recent years of observing and oftentimes engaging in political discourse where I see it, the standards of the Four Way Test stood as a guide that helped me recognize tribalism in our politics today, find how I could be tribal, and eventually lead me to a new way of thinking politically. The most recent election seen here in the United States shifted the entire para- digm of our society. Whether you backed “Him” or “Her” you probably had an opin- ion on all of the hot button issues presented by CNN and Fox. Bloody protests and cynical rallies grew and grew as more and more people pledged their loyalty to a tribe. With a complete lack of regard to the actual optics of the situation, brother disavowed brother based on their beliefs. People did and do not care what is really the truth. People did and do not care about how fair things are for those who oppose them. People did and do not care about goodwill with their adversary. People did and do not care about the repercussions to be had in the future. The only thing that matters is the survival of their political tribe. These observations first became clear to me as I began to listen to podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE). New wave media like the JRE brought into my sight the accounts of many different perspectives. These conversations with people from all backgrounds, and tribes, showed me the different outlooks and how the tribes form and operate. A look at fellow human beings tricked into the same tribal warfare as I made me realize what we were actually doing to each other. I followed the only rational mode of action and took a conscious inventory of myself. A thorough, soul searching exami- nation of how I contribute to the tribal toxicity followed. In my early years of high school, I avidly believed and espoused right wing politics. A Donald Trump zealot, I did my fair share of antagonizing the masses. But the examination of myself found seri- ous flaws in that. Whatever “truths” I believed in often took the form of lies told myself to prop up the vision of America’s future in my head. I disregarded what was fair to other people. Actively I lost poten- tial friends as a result of my action. And nobody benefited except for the “tribe” that GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 I enslaved under. And of course, that does not say I just swapped out red ideals with blue. A different camp for a soldier to sleep in or flag for him to march under does not make him any less of a soldier. The realization of my place in the tribal camps forced me to rethink my political views all the way down to the very foun- dation. The solution to fixing my crisis came very simply and plainly. Abstaining from the political meta of our two party system and throwing the power of my then weak voice behind individualism and lib- erty - thinking for myself what to believe in. Seeking and speaking only the truth. Finding and fighting for fairness. Meeting and manufacturing goodwill among men. And discovering and deploying the proper benefits to all concerned. Divorcing myself from my old ways and forging a new path that coincides with the standards sough Y\[H\^H\ \ܜ[\[[[\X[\B\]\[\]]\H\[X[ˈHœ[]H[و\]\[X\\Y\[\ܜˈ[Z[KY[YKXK[\Y]H]\[\X\™X]H\H\H[]H]\[Y]H[XZ[YHH]X\B[[Y[[HYXH]H[KBYX[\\[[[ H[YH[YY[[\[\YYHH\^H\][^Y][ٛܛX][ۈ][YK\^HXZ]YN^Yۈ[[™Z^KB