Do you follow a crowd or are you Cool?

Noticing a lot lately how people use status symbols in their lives to create the image of who they want to be in life instead of who they truly are, has me puzzled. The items people use in their lives to create a self perceived status can be comical (if taken in stride & not personally).

Merriam-Webster defines Status this way: sta·tus Pronunciation: \ˈ stāt-əs, ˈ stat-\Function: noun. a particular state or condition
The Free on-line Dictionary: status [ˈsteɪtəs] n pl -tuses 1. (Sociology) a social or professional position, condition, or standing to which varying degrees of responsibility, privilege, and esteem are attached 2. the relative position or standing of a person or thing 3. a high position or standing; prestige

The Urban dictionary:

a way of measuring how much the man you are..

Definitions out of the way, we come to a personal question: What equates one’s status? This is left to each individual’s perception of what makes a person cool. Television, internet, magazines, radio, and popular demand often creates the concept of what’s cool at any given time.

This all just puzzles me. Shoes do not make a person, nor do designer labels or the car you drive.  To help me understand if I was just getting old with outdated ideas about life, or if I had a right to be puzzled by this, I took a poll recently of what increases one’s self perceived status. I polled a diverse group of people ranging in age from 12 yrs old to 80yrs old; men, women, and of various ethnic backgrounds with open ended questions about what makes a person cool, increases one’s status or increases popularity. Here are the results I’ve received:

  • One who possess Humility
  • Personality and outlook on life
  • One’s character (because if they are “Cool” in my book, I know I can count on them, trust them, and they care about others and try to help others.”
  • The way one carries themselves and treats others
  • One who is honest and approachable
  • One’s Attitude …entirely
  • One who has Options! (Their Career)
  • Personality – One who leads, not follows the crowd
  • One’s Spirit (This one is my favorite answer!)
  • Name brand clothes, shoes, car they drive, house, job, and their family name
  • How much money they have and how many friends they have on facebook
  • Their looks
  • Money – If they have lots of money, they are cool to me
  • Outlook on life (this answer I received from 4 people)
  • Their style

I was not very surprised by the answers I received from the random strangers I asked. It seems as though individualism is not popular with a younger crowd, but is expected from the older ones. Money, clothes, shoes, or any material possession do not make a person cool in my mind.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the responses I received from my friends. I have some wonderful friends! They are beautiful inside and out and I was most proud of their answers 🙂 After considering them, the random strangers I asked even surprised me somewhat too I suppose. I committed to keeping the answers anonymous, so no person will be identified by their response.  If I asked you this question, you’ll recognize your answer above and you’ll be the only one that knows it is your answer. But, I want you to also know that I was proud of your non materialistic answers 🙂


Disclaimer: This post in no way is directed toward one person, a group of people, or gender.

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