Inspiration must be acknowledged where due – School Daze.
I won’t take a stand on big public schools vs. small schools, but this post describes the situation of school-children with respect to the “Cool Culture” beautifully.
Come to think of it, its not just the school-children any more. Its there just everywhere – your college, your work-place, everything is in the grip of “the cool culture”! And its kind of ironic. Being cool is certainly not about following standards and norms dutifully, without questioning. Literature talking about words that emerge as a part of particular cultural/sub-cultural trend says that “cool” is one of the longest staying word in the informal language. And while researchers may dig the issue for its meaning, I do not think that one can deny the idea that being cool is supposed to be about individuality! And there comes the irony. This “cool”ness itself has become associated with certain norms. You can not possibly be “cool” if you do not enjoy night-life, if you shirk away from discos, if you do not wear the weirdest of the clothes and if you do not use a particular kind of language. Where is the individuality gone really? Another example of “class vs. cause” problem! The cause is gone, class is left. If the purpose was to free people of the rigidities of the existing system, a new set of rigidities have taken grip of them.
Any takers for revival of “cool”ness? If you feel more comfortable wearing a simple shirt while everyone is wearing a tri-colour T-shirt with a dragon and a mouse (not the technical one!), wear the comfortable shirt anyway. If you are better off reading or sleeping in your room, while the whole company is out for a party, do it anyway (No, I am not for a tasteless llfe without any society or company, but individuality has to be taken care of! What you like or dislike has to be decided by you and if everyone goes by his/her choice, probably everyone will have enough people to accompany him/her!).
For a deeper, human orientation, following is something I will certainly classify as cool (the attitude of doing things “anyway”, despite the world!).
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centred.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
The biggest people with biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs, but follow only topdogs.
Fight for some underdogs anyway.
What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.
Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have got anyway.
– Tough times never last but tough people do by Robert H. Schuller (Originally taken from Reader’s Digest, December 1982, as acknowledged in the book)