Will Jeff Bezos pass the Four-Way Test?

My upbeat music of the morning – Paul McCartny- Hope for the future

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Look around you. There’s so much opportunity to do good. And unfortunately, there’s way too much opportunity to be bad. And for some of the richest people in the world –there’s the opportunity to do nothing.

In my Rotary Club, we follow guiding principles called the Four-Way Test.

The Four-Way Test:

Of the things we think, do or say:

1 – Is it the truth?
2 – Is it fair to all concerned?
3 – Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4 – Is it beneficial to all concerned?

Bill Gates (March 9, 2020)

The Gates Foundation and Wellcome are each contributing up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund has committed up to $25 million to catalyze the initial work of the accelerator. The Gates Foundation’s funding is part of its up to $100 million commitment to the COVID-19 response announced last month.

Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world with an income of over $112 billion continues to hoard his wealth at a time when workers need paid health care more than ever.

Instead of Whole Food employees getting paid time off (PTO) to quarantine themselves, they are asked (in an email) to consider donating their own PTO to employees who are sick and need additional time off. I am pretty certain this request is not fair to all concerned, nor will it build goodwill and better friendships.

Might the unspoken expectation be that once they use up all their PTO and their coworkers PTO that they should go in while sick?

Oh, wait a second. I was wrong. Whole Foods also said that it will offer unlimited, unpaid time off during the month of March and 2 weeks of paid time off (PTO) for workers who test positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.  I’m not really feeling the love, are you?

So, Whole Food workers  will get 2 weeks of PTO if they test positive for the virus and maybe a bit more if they have generous coworkers with available PTO to donate. What if someone in their house has the virus and they need to self-quarantine?

Ok, to be fair, Amazon stocks are only selling at $1,689.15 right now. Jeff Bezos maybe fretful during this crisis but he can put his fears aside (unlike his Whole Foods employees) because Amazon “is opening 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. in their fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s service.”

Of the things we think, do or say:

1 – Is it the truth?
2 – Is it fair to all concerned?
3 – Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4 – Is it beneficial to all concerned?

I am pretty certain that Jeffery would not pass the Four-Way Test. 

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The next outbreak? We’re not ready – Bill Gates TedTalks April 2015

Bill Gates Blog – How to respond to Coronavirus

Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg where are you?

RYLA sunrise hike

What I learned at Rotary camp…

… To trust, listen and allow.

Last week I volunteered as a Senior Counselor at a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. Everyone told me it would be amazing. Magical. Life-Changing. Mind-Blowing.

Wow, it was even more than that! I learned so much about our kids, team building, leadership, friendship and trust. And I learned more about myself.

Trust the process:

The conferees (aka kids) were High School Junior age student who filled out applications and applied to local Rotary Clubs for scholarships. They applied for different reasons. Some to add to their transcripts. Some to overcome specific issues such as social anxiety. Some wanted to become leaders. Some because their friends said “They just had to go, it will change your life!” Regardless of why they applied, they left with leadership tools, self-confidence, understanding, awareness and new friends.

In the region where I am, there were over 181 participants in week 1 and a similar amount in week 2.

RYLA sunrise hikeThese kids were in constant motion. They had a schedule that began at 7 am every morning and kept them busy until after 10 pm each night. Every activity challenged them to develop communication and problem-solving skills, to learn from each other and work as a team. Each day included motivational, community and peer speakers with powerfully specific messages. One morning the entire group took a sunrise hike in silence. We slowly made our way to the top of a nearby mountain and sat to watch a new day begin. Some of them had never been on a hike before. For some, it was their first sunrise.

Every day was a different speaker with a different message that reminded these kids to remember to push pebbles, follow the Four Way Test, trust in themselves, honor their stories and follow through. The speakers overwhelmed them with words of hope, love and belief.

Listen and observe:

My role was to support my Junior Counselor (JC). The JC’s were in charge.  My job was to watch the group. To assist when needed but to stand back and let the JC lead our group. With each activity, the conferees  learned to speak up, ask questions, offer ideas , ask to see if others had input and they slowly turned into leaders. Sometimes it was really hard to be an observer! But to see the group get though an exercise by working together and supporting each other was rewarding. And to see a group fail and then listen to them debrief and figure out what happened, how they would do it differently and what they learned was worth my silence. The smile on my face said it all.

There were some amazing and sad stories that were shared. Topics such as school shootings, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, violence, eating disorders and other heart-wrenching issues faced by these kids were touched on.  The world these kids face every day is so different from the one I lived in. As a kid, if someone said something mean to me, it stuck in my head and I played it over and over (yes, it’s still there to this very day) but now, when something mean is said, it is usually on social media platform for the world to see. Its life span is longer and once published, it’s out there forever. It’s hard to tell them that it doesn’t matter. Or that nobody will care. Or that nobody will know. Not in this day and time. Social media is often used as a cruel weapon that continues to wound.

RYLA’s leadership camp is compelling, impressive and rewarding. The end result for these kids was truly life changing.

Allow for continuous self-growth:

As for me, the wise and mature woman — WOW! Their stories showed me the crazy world they live in. And they reminded me that we all crave the same things, regardless of our age – acknowledgement, support, someone who believes in us, friendship and most of all …love. 


Resources:

Learn about Rocky Mountain RYLA

Rocky Mountain RYLA

Cassandra Sewell

Chris Natzke

 

Peaches, peaches and more peaches!

peach festivalThe wonderful thing about this summer is how busy I have been with traveling, visiting, volunteering and ok, to be really honest … eating. I have a paper calendar in my kitchen with markings, circles, words that I have crossed off or used ‘white out’ to remove. I tape events so I can see the advertisement about the dates, time, location and etc.

When I am in the library or other shops and see posters with events I want to attend, out comes my camera and I snap a handful of images for me to use as reminders. They are good, however, when a piece of paper is taped to the date, it’s really hard to ignore.VW Primo limo

Last weekend was filled with peaches at the Rotary Peach Festival in Fort Collins. It is a collaborative event put on by the four Rotary Clubs in the city. The Peach Festival started with a Peach 5K run, a Peach breakfast, to be washed down by peach wine, peach beer, peach cider and grilled peaches. There was tasty peach ice cream, peach pie and peach cobbler. Oh my! Along with games, booths, families, obstacle courses for kids, yoga in the park, and it was all staffed by Rotarians and their families and friends.

Sunday was a car show in the neighborhood with really classy cars. The proceeds of over $25,000 was donated to Meals on Wheels to provide food for those who are unable to provide their own.

Add in a few bike rides, hikes, a couple of book group gatherings, movies, books on tape, walks in the ‘hood and that rounds out the past week. Amazing!

What’s not to love?

Day 23 – Make A Difference Day 2015

Today started off really busy. I signed up to volunteer my services on Make A Difference Day. Members of several Fort Collins Rotary clubs gathered together with rakes and gloves and warm clothing to clean up leaves, branches and trash at Catholic Charities. This facility offers food and shelter to homeless men and women in the area.

What happened was little subsets of workers gathered to rake, hold open bags, cut branches, haul trash and as each task was completed, new subsets were created. What I loved most was meeting people in other clubs, spouses, teens and learning more about the members in my club.

Make A Difference Day is celebrating it’s 24th year. It’s the largest national day of community service. In my community it’s Make A Difference Week with volunteer opportunities of all kinds.  Projects included helping landscape a yard, swapping out incandescent lights for LED bulbs, building vertical garden beds for wheel-chair patients, winterizing community gardens, sprucing up the Ecology Center, helping Adult Day Center with window cleaning, landscaping, yard and branch cleanup. Lots and lots of opportunities to work together to help others. It’s a win-win for the agencies, the volunteers and the community.

While we worked the sun came out and we all warmed up. The amount of work was reduced by half due to the amount of workers. Finished by 10:30 am with the whole day ahead of me. What to do? Well, go home and rake leaves of course!

So, that’s all for now. Sleep tight and see you tomorrow!

Margekatherine

Related Posts:

Make a Difference Day  – tweets

Make a Difference Day