For some reason, I've had this phrase in my head lately. I know cool people. And often, they can be cruel. Kindness isn't their initial goal, coolness is.
I never felt completely comfortable with the cool folks I've known over time. It didn't feel right, and I often found myself feeling on the fringe of things said and done. And, I was often the target of teasing or admonitions that left me feeling cold. In short, I was where I didn't need to be.
I am so grateful for where I am now. I'm pursuing the things I really care about (volunteering, discussion groups, reading, and getting out of town to visit places and friends), spending quality time with my daughter, and could give a rat's ass about whether what I'm doing, listening to, reading, or planning is considered cool or not. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that it did matter to me just a short time ago, but grateful for the lesson.
Another reason this has been on my mind, and one that is much more serious and important, is the recent FB posts from friends about bullying and teasing. One mentions how important it is "to teach children how to treat others with respect and compassion at a young age and to continue to teach it as they grow. So many precious children's self esteem is ruined by this deficiency in our society." and is followed by the posting of this article, and the other mentions the suicide of a 10 y.o. girl, allegedly as a result of bullying.
I believe it is often the case that we all, at one time or another, have said or done things around or to others in an attempt to show off or be 'cool'. And for many, teasing others is an attempt at humor and fitting in. I know I've been guilty of doing it. Or we find something unrelateable and are dismissive of someone's feelings as a result. And this doesn't stop in the schools. It goes on throughout adulthood.
So my take-away is simply, it is cool to be kind. And I've been making a very conscious attempt at kindness, on a daily basis. I hope to be more sensitive in my words and actions towards others.