Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cool in 500 Words or Less

The term “cool” has stood the test of time. While terms like “hipped”, “groovy”, or “heavy” have fallen into disuse because they are considered passé, “cool” has kept its cool.

But how does one obtain this timeless cool. I’ve thought long on the subject, and while I would never claim to be authority, I have noticed certain consistencies.

Cool can not be obtained – contrary to marketing’s claim or your personal desires – it is something with which you are born. We are all born with a certain degree of coolness. However, it must be cultivated. You can develop your own self cool. In fact, the coolest people I know have done just that. What ever they are, what ever life style they may live, they are cool because they display it so naturally. Some may not be as stylish as current standards dictate, but are judged cool nonetheless.

That is the essence of being cool. Determine who or what you are and then live it to the fullest you can. Develop your own innate coolness. That sounds easy, but it is harder than you might think. First, the hardest part is determining exactly what you are – that’s an own going task. And then, make choices based on what you really want, not what your group believes anyone should want. Oh! And you can’t choose what you think you might like or how it would appear to others. Appearances are not your major concern. There may be some alienation involved in this, some realignment of friends. Peer pressure is not something to be taken lightly.

If you are a jock but like science fiction and other nerd stuff and don’t really care to watch sports, then strive for those goals only a nerd would appreciate and avoid the sports crowd. If you are gay, then you must be honest about it, or you will never really be cool. There are no cool phonies. Cool people don’t just think out side the box, they live outside the box.

As a personal aside, I grew up in an area where you were either a listener of rock or country, but never both. And, you couldn’t crossover, because one group always looked with disdain down on the other. I was on the rock side of the divide but secretly like country music also. After a little cool school, I said I like both and took what came. What came? I developed an appreciation of all forms of music, jazz, big band, even rap, once I allowed myself to judge music for what it was worth to me and not by someone else’s standard. It was cool.


So my friend, to be really cool you must be yourself. Maybe your not as cool as you would like, but over time, that cool that is within you will develop. It's amazing. Be cool.

At any rate, being as cool as you can get means being yourself. You ought to try it. It may mean letting go of what you have, but you’d be surprise at the response you’ll get. Be cool.

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