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Rotary provides beneficial service to the community

Q: What's the difference between fair and beneficial?

A: When I first joined Rotary, I was handed this plaque with the Four Way Test on it. The Rotary Four Way Test reads: "Is it the Truth? Is it Fair to all Concerned? Will it be Beneficial to all Concerned? Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships? I remember being impressed by the statements made and thinking that it really meshed with how I felt about my relationship with my customers. I posted the plaque in my office -- just to let them know the principals under which I work.

And there it was -- my plaque on the wall that I saw day after day. And seemingly like all of the other things posted on the wall, it blended into the background and the words of the test just became a blur. I didn't read them or see them.

That became blatantly evident when Breakfast Rotary's, then current President, Bob Koshnick instituted the profession of the Four Way Test into our meetings (by the way, thanks for that Bob!). I had to read the words because I didn't know it.

And after a couple of years, I'm proud to say that I do know the test by memory. But I still find myself reading those words every week. And one question has always popped into my head.

Why does the test ask is it fair to all concerned and then also ask is it beneficial to all concerned? Aren't they the same thing?

During this Rotary Vocational Service Month, I've been pondering this further. And here's what I've come up with. Rotarians are exceptional people and exceptional things are expected of them.

Are you OK with providing fair service to your customers? I'll bet not. Would you rather be compensated fairly or in a way that was truly beneficial to you?

In a Xerox sales training course I took years ago, one of the lessons stated, "features tell; benefits sell." Benefits are things that we take away from a relationship, a transaction, a conversation -- they make our lives better or easier.

So during this month of Rotary Vocational Service -- and always, let's remember that our goal is to provide beneficial service to each other, to our customers, family members, community, and world.

And to me, that's also fair!

Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary meets every Tuesday at 7 a.m. at The Speak Easy. Come join us!