Cool. [kool} Slang .
- (used to express acceptance): Okay, cool! I’ll be there at 10:00.
- (used to express approval, admiration, etc.): He got the job? Cool!
Recently, I was out with my son when we overheard a conversation between some teenagers. They were discussing what’s cool with the latest Apple products. Each teenager had their own opinion and their wish to have the newest product. The conversation then turned to where they were going to go eat lunch. One of the group lamented about the cost of eating out all the time. Another one in the group opened up his wallet and handed him ten bucks saying, “Don’t worry. It’s cool.”
Was it cool? I could only suppose that the receiver of the money was only trying to express his opinion and his friends would not listen. Is it cool to spend all your money just to keep up with your friends? Even my son could read the situation that it was uncomfortable. His take away was “The boy needs to do what is right for him.”
That situation got me thinking the teenagers are not much different than adults. As adults, we are always looking at the latest and greatest toys and gadgets. They might be disguised as tools to help us organize our lives, run our business, or prepare delicious meals for our family. Or it is the latest device that will turn off our lights, pull up a recipe, or play our favorite tunes. Can it be helpful? Of course, it can. Essentially, what it is is something that’s cool today.
I made my list of what’s cool that I wanted to share with you. My list isn’t sparkly with the latest gadgets, tools, or apps. However, it is chock-full of characteristics that speak volumes on a person’s character and ability to get along in the world today.
- Manners–I will shout it from the rooftops today, tomorrow, next week, and next year: manners matter. Please, thank you, excuse me, pardon me, how are you today, what can I do help. I try to pass on the lessons to my children that manners help make friends easier, get along with teachers and coaches, and they will make great employees one day when they are in the workforce.
- Showing up on time–This can show respect to the people who are counting on you to be in attendance for an event. It can also show you respect time. I want to say that I do understand that there are situations that happen out of our control that will cause us to be late from time to time. However, I am saying show up on time for work, school, appointments, church, etc. Be punctual is a great attribute to possess!
- Apologizing when you are wrong–This is a difficult task to learn and sometimes even more difficult to accept. But, it is a characteristic of a strong person to say “I’m sorry.” Apologies that are full of empty promises are empty. But a sincere apology begins to reestablish trust and relationship. I tell my boys I’d rather hear a sincere apology than deflecting responsibility from any wrongdoing.
- Be nice to strangers–No one life is perfect. We all have a few moments to spare to say thank you to the barista who made our coffee or clerk who handed us our morning bagel. It’s not hard to offer a smile and hold a door. It’s pretty easy to offer some eye contact with a “good morning” or “Hello”. Asking if someone needs a helping hand. Offering kindness with no expectation for anything in return.
- Learn and use people’s names–I heard once when you meet someone new, repeat their name to help you remember their name. It’s a good tool especially if names are difficult for you. There is something about being able to call someone by their name. It is helpful when developing connections.
- Of course my extra bonus tip–be nice. It is as simple as that. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Do what is best for you, but remember cool is all in the eye of the beholder. It is an attitude, behavior, or appearance. The changing connotations of cool and its varied meanings offer a wide interpretation of coolness. For me, the character of a person is cool. What’s cool in your world? Is there anything else that you would add to the Here’s what’s Cool list?
All my best to you,