Now that I am already a Rotarian
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 31, 2019 - 12:00am

In the late years of my life on earth, I have discovered the real meaning of living. I have rediscovered my purpose, and thus I have resolved to live a life of service above self, on the basis of Rotary International's four-way test.

My outlook, perspectives, and paradigms have changed immensely after I joined the Rotary International. I am now guided by the four-way test. Not reckless anymore with my words or impulsive in my decisions and actions. First and foremost, I have to make sure I write and act on the basis of truth. Thus, as a daily columnist, I need to check my sources always and verify facts. As a lawyer, I have to make sure the witnesses I present to testify in court must have personal knowledge and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. As a professor of Law and Bar reviewer in San Beda, UE, and other Law schools, I should be very sure about what I lecture.

Then, I am committed to the virtue of fairness. I should listen to both sides of every issue, and avoid bias and preconceived notions. I should learn to consider the implications of my words and actions. Fairness demands that I should always be mindful that the columns I write may hurt some people and sectors, although some parties really need to be hurt in order to ignite proper action and appropriate response. Fairness demands that those who are doing well should be rewarded and those who cause trouble and injustice must be exposed, charged, prosecuted, and jailed. And writers like me should be fair in our exposés and commendations.

As a Rotarian, I should also consider whether my words, deeds, decisions, and plans should promote goodwill and good friendships. I should be an instrument of peace and positive relationships, rather than a purveyor of intrigue and conflict. Always conscious that some people may misunderstand what I say and write, I need to be careful with my terminologies, the tone of my voice, as well as my body language and other non-verbals. When there are conflicts, I should reconcile and mediate. Reconciliation among opponents and enemies should be one of my objectives. As a Rotarian, I should help promote unity and cohesiveness among members of the community and the larger environment.

Lastly, I need to consider what benefits should arise from what I do and what I write about. If no value is created by my actions and decisions, then I should refrain from doing them. As a responsible Rotarian, a faithful Christian and Catholic, and a good Filipino citizen, I should help in the drive for productivity, quality, and excellence. Benefits are result of good work, high standards of services, and adherence to rules and norms. All works, efforts, actions, struggles, and movements should yield benefits for the community and the nation.

Now, that I am a Rotarian, I always strive to become a better person, more responsible, hardworking, faithful, and true to my mission. I am neither perfect nor blameless. But what matters most is that the Rotary's four-way test has motivated me to strive more to a higher level of goodness. I can never be perfect but what is more important is that from hereon, I shall always move towards improvement and leveling up.

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