Play video above for context.
Following a few articles I read over the weekend, I haven’t been able to shake my head off thinking about adolescent children – especially the period of ‘cool’. I found the above video and this article particularly interesting, Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years.
Even though I understand the perspective, I’m not exactly sure what to think of the subject. Unfortunately, making a connection with myself at that age isn’t helpful as I’ve always been deliberately detached from my peers. I never wanted or required their approval. Around them, I was more of an odd curiosity and was content with the label. Every now and then I hung out with them, but honestly got bored easily – one can only hear so much trivia at one time. My closer friends during that period of my life were mostly among teachers and grownups. I, on the other hand, thought my peers just about as odd as they did of me, and that hasn’t changed much over the years. My personality has remained generally consistent: audacious, outlying, and understated.
While I wasn’t necessarily unpopular in high school, it never was about acceptance for me, anyway. I’ve always been more comfortable being the person I felt most appropriate being: myself. I think the mistake people often make is identify themselves through the lenses and judgment of friends or cohorts, but genuine acceptance only comes from within a person – not from a group or the circle of friends they keep. You alone can tell from the depth of your heart who you are, what really matters, and what is right for you. The same does not have to be right or priority for other people too. While there are universal principles for living as a community, life also affords us the variety of making certain choices individually. I’ve always seemed to enjoy looking at the world from aloof with the recognition that some other people prefer to enjoy the activities from the middle. Neither is innately positive nor negative.
So if I had a conclusion on the topic, it’d probably be this: I don’t think being cool or popular is necessarily negative eventually as long as one keeps their head on the right priorities, and cultivate a mindset that is sensitive to the long-term effects of their choices. In the end, it’s really not about whether or not you are or were cool, but about priorities. It is true, however, that there is a time and place for gratification and indulgence; not every facet of life has to be long term oriented. However, the important things should be – they have to be. The more farsighted you make your vision of life, the better your present decisions and convictions will become. Those, in turn, automatically shape your predisposition as well as drive your lifestyle and interests. When you develop more grounded thoughts and secure your heart, the rest of the world will simply become a touring site. You see things that are interesting and can appreciate them, but you know which one is for you. Whether or not you are [or use to be] cool, without the right priorities of life, it doesn’t get better.