Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Dozen of the Most Influential People in Tomorrow's Society

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Nederland MSHS Counselor, Aly Shambo
and Mayor Joe Gierlach pass out certificates
as students sign the book.
This week was the Nederland MS/HS National Honor Society dinner and induction ceremony.

Each year, our Town has a tradition of hosting dinner for the inductees, and afterward, I've had the honor of awarding the certificates to students for the past several years. Then, the inductees hand-sign the same book that has been used for decades.

Personally, all I remember about being inducted into the National Honor Society, was seeing my name on a list. I went to a bigger high school than Nederland MS/HS, and I was involved with a lot of other activities. I did not pay much attention to the National Honor Society activities, but I remember making sure my name was on the list. I think I got the pin after basketball practice, and I told my mother about it a week later.

This is the only time in my life, that I can remember making my mother cry. When she realized that I did not invite her to watch me get inducted into the National Honor Society. At the time, I had a lot of other things that were 'more important' in my life.

The Basic Attributes of our Community

Four main purposes have guided chapters of National Honor Society since its inception:
  • to create enthusiasm for SCHOLARSHIP
  • to stimulate a desire to render SERVICE
  • to promote LEADERSHIP
  • and to develop CHARACTER in the students of secondary schools.
These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.

More than ever before, we will need to rely on this new generation of scientists, engineers, planners, communicators, philosophers, and a few careers that haven't been invented yet. We will need their innovation and energy because we are facing increasingly bigger challenges with respect to climate change, our financial system, affordable housing, human services, clean air & water, renewable energy, transportation, and our ecosystem.

I don't think it is likely that the solutions to these issues will come from the homogenized middle-America model. Rather, areas known for local distinctiveness, will be the incubators of ideas that resolve our societies biggest challenges, in unique ways – right here in Nederland.
[See Related Story: Rules for Local Distinctiveness]
We are looking for people who express the same characteristics as the National Honor Society: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. In other words, we need smart, clever, influential people with integrity, who are motivated to serve the greater community.

This should be one of the most important events of the year, and yet, the National Honor Society induction ceremony is only attended by the students, their parents and a handful of people each year. Just like my 16 year-old self, everybody seems to have 'more important' things to do.

I may not know what 'swarp' means, but I know that I have just met some of the most influential people in our society, at an exclusive gathering, and few others realize it.

[Here is a Video Valediction] Here is the eclectic band from Hermosa Beach, California, Lal Meri performing, "Dreams of 18". [What is a Video Valediction?]
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