The Coolness Factor

dianaerbioby Diana Erbio  – Too many of us fear being labeled uncool. We want others to think we are in-touch with the current trends, newest fads, hippest attitudes and most popular YouTube videos. This may be unique to our generation of parents and grandparents.

Past generations of parents and grandparents did not seem to be pressured to be “cool” in their ideology. What they said went. I am not saying we cannot learn from youngsters, but I am saying we should not shy away from telling them what we truly believe. Perhaps we have to work harder than previous generations and arm ourselves with more facts and directions to where our kids and grandkids can find the truth.

We must make them critical thinkers and not allow them to be led by a tilted media and academia that does not look favorably on those who question their orthodoxy on many issues of the day. If not us, who will fill the void? Risking our “coolness” factor is a small price to pay.

Just look at those who are invested in the idea that global warming is the direct result of human’s careless ways. They are intent on telling the younger generation that any opposition to this belief is wrongly held by their elders, thus by definition of cool making it uncool.

This is evidenced in a speech given by former Vice President Al Gore to 12-year-olds on January 19, 2009 in Washington DC just prior to President Obama’s first inauguration. Al Gore told the children “There are some things in our world that you know but older people don’t know. “ He went on to say that in a period of rapid change, the old assumptions sometimes just don’t work anymore because they are out of date, adding that new knowledge and new understandings are sometimes more widely available to young people in school who aren’t weighed down by the old flawed assumptions of the past.

Mr. Gore further explained that the three crisis President Obama was to face were in matters of the economy, national security and climate and that there was a common thread connecting these crisis and it was our over-dependence on carbon-based fuels. The speech was ended with a call that it was time to go to solar power and wind power as the solution. There was wild applause from the young audience.

Now five years later we can see that much of the investment of billions of dollars of stimulus money to green energy companies which included a bankrupt Solyndra and others has led to failure. Is there anyone telling the children that less than 4 percent of our energy needs are being met by solar and wind, and at a huge cost compared to carbon based fuels?

Global Warming aka Climate Change which allows for a broader range of weather- related crisis is only one area where an ideology is being foisted on the younger generation and if anyone raises any opposition to this they are labeled as out of touch, or “un-cool”. Cool is a powerful tool, because as I said many of today’s adults are overly concerned with being seen as cool.

Greg Gutfeld’s latest book “Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You” discusses the dangers striving to be “cool” at all costs bring. Gutfeld claims the desire to be cool has infected all aspects of our lives. At its most harmless, it is annoying. At its worst, it is deadly, on a massive scale. Gutfeld’s antidote is to reclaim the real American ideal of cool–building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibility for your actions, and leaving other people alone to live as they damn well please. I agree!

An important part of being an adult is sometimes we just have to be the grown-up. We should not be afraid to voice our opinions or pass on our values. Past generations have done so and we must continue down that path. When my mom had the grandchildren at her home for sleepovers and visits she always played her music and shared her favorite movies with them. She insisted that when they were at her house they were entering “Grammy’s world”. They were exposed to jazz, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and her stories of growing up during World War II in Switzerland. She did not hesitate to tell them that everyone does not deserve a trophy, they have to earn it. She told them hard work and stamina were needed to succeed. We should all take a lesson about the real “cool” from the generation that recognized living under tyrants and dictators was not cool.

We should not worry about conforming to all the new trends so our kids and grandkids will identify with us. We should be mindful when sharing books, movies and music with our kids and grandkids that they are in sync with our values and beliefs. A bit of humor often helps.

Sometimes we older people do know things that the younger people do not know and we must be willing to share those things with them, even if it is not as cool as global warming.

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