What Makes National Honor Society an Honorable Society

The application is thorough, the expectations are high, and the rules are strict. This selectiveness does not serve to discriminate against those who have limited service opportunities or create an environment in which those who have more hours of service are more important. National Honor Society is selective because it takes itself seriously. People are upset by its selectiveness because they do not take it seriously.

Many people join NHS in order to fill a spot on their college applications, instead of joining to enrich the community. They are upset by the rigors of the organization because they join to make themselves look good, not to make others feel good. They are offended by rules because they are not willing to go the extra mile to gain service hours. They are offended by the application because they do not want to spend so much time on an organization they participate in for credit only. National Honor Society is not for college credit, it is for community service.

Living in Stone Oak, there are many aspects of life, such as owning multiple cars, going out to eat often, and paying for clubs and organizations, that are taken for granted. Community service is humbling. It expands one’s worldview. It helps people realize that everything they have is a privilege, and there is always someone who does not possess that privilege. There is always someone who does not have a car, who does not have the new iPhone, who does not have freedom of speech or expression. By going out and helping those who are less privileged, by leaving the bubble of middle class and exposing oneself to the experiences of the rest of humanity, one eliminates ignorance and develops compassion. One becomes a better person.

National Honor Society is a service organization. Its application ensures that those who serve are responsible enough to handle the tasks set before them and knowledgeable enough to take initiative. Without those rigorous rules and regulations, National Honor Society could not fully serve the community. The majority of its members would not uphold its standards. The people who join NHS for credit only are not necessarily lazy. They are not necessarily cheaters or selfish. They are simply missing the point of the organization.


About briannakalin

I am a senior, am involved in Orchestra, Creative Writing Club, and Quizbowl, and I love reading and writing.

2 thoughts on “What Makes National Honor Society an Honorable Society

  1. While the notion that National Honor Society members are lazy, spoiled, and only participate to the bare minimum with only the though of filling a spot on their college applications may hold some verisimilitude, those who support the argument are in my opinion, ignorant to the issues voiced by the society’s members.
    The most prominent point of contention is the issue of religious service hours–this has been made evident not only by the myriad of dissatisfied members’ appeals last year, but also by the unprecedented “student uprising” at the first meeting of the year, in which the majority of the students both in a rush to get to first period, but as well as in protest against the organization’s policies towards religious service hours. The issue that members have with the organization isn’t the number of service hours required–the thorough application ensures that only quality members with virtue and character are inducted, and serves to weed out members who are looking for a resume-filler. The issue is that members feel attacked by the policies of the organization, as if the valuable hours they spent volunteering at a church, or counseling at a religious camp are somehow “less legitimate/valid” than hours spent helping an animal shelter.
    Further, to generalize Reaganites into one affluent, snobbish category is unfair. The fact that some of us may indeed have multiple cars or an iPhone does not necessarily correlate with an ignorance of our blessings, nor does it correlate with a lack of humility and service. As aforementioned, NHS members are, for the most part, more than willing to “enrich the community,” as long as they do not feel rejected, put down, or limited in what “service” is deemed as.
    This is not to say NHS is a terrible organization that should immediately be reformed–I acknowledge that the sponsors and the officers must abide to a national rulebook (after all, it IS called NATIONAL Honor Society for a reason). However, I disagree with the contention that NHS is plagued with selfish, ignorant trust-fund babies who loathe service opportunities.

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