Being Cool Isn't

March 11, 2008
By Lynne Walling, Mauston, WI

Is being cool telling somebody that they're stupid? Is it swearing, or using drugs and alcohol? It seems like it is these days.
People bully other people to prove that they are tough just so they don't get picked on by their friends. They also do it to feel secure about themselves. They use drugs and alcohol because everybody thinks that it's so cool to feel dizzy or to see things that aren't really there.
I know how it feels to yearn for acceptance because I have been on both sides. I used to try to fit in with all of the "cool" kids by bullying others. I used foul language, I started to smoke cigarettes as well as pot and other drugs. I also skipped school everyday.
I thought that I was so cool because I was doing what everybody else was doing. I learned a little too late that by doing what all of the other kids were doing, I lost my originality. It also made me a jerk.
Being cool isn't about doing what all of the other kids are doing. Being cool is about standing up for what you believe in. It's about making decisions for yourself instead of letting other people take control of your life. It's about not only having the knowledge to say no, but actually using that knowledge.
I know that it's harder to walked the road less traveled, but life in general is hard. You have to work for what you want.
My oldest brother was one of the many people who took the easy way out. He was addicted to several different drugs but his favorite was pills. He was 31 years old when he died of a massive heart attack. He used so many pills and other drugs that eventually it put him into cardiac arrest.
My dad was 9 years old when he started smoking. Over the years he developed lung cancer. By the time the doctors found it, it was already too late. He was 65 years old when he died because he smoked.
He was also a bully until the last year of his life. He didn't have a lot of friends because of it. He was abused as a child and he carried on that trait. It seemed to me like he had to get self-security by hurting others.
So doing what everybody else is doing doens't just cost you your control to live your own life, it costs you your will to live. I thought that it was too late when I realized all of this, but then I realized something else. It is never too late to change. The only thing that you need is you.

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