All Articles Tagged "community involvement"
Seriously, being cool is overrated. Some people are so wrapped up in the perception of cool that they are oblivious to how detrimental their ‘coolness’ is to the greater good.
You may be familiar with them—it’s the person with several Facebook profile pages and has 5,000 “friends” just for appearance sakes and does not really know any of those people they’ve “befriended;” or maybe the up-and-coming rapper that you grew up with around the way now has a little change in their pocket and feel they are prominent enough to walk past you as if they don’t know you. Then there is the oh-so-busy mover and shaker who can’t seem to remember your name for the life of him although you’ve told him a million times; or the self-important wannabe socialite who is so wrapped up in their “image” that they can’t seem to let their guard down long enough to network with a person that is not her “level” as she believes.
Call it being bougie, frontin’, perpetratin’ a fraud or just “acting stank,” but these “cool” people truly make me sick because they sadly remind me that there is a strong likelihood that we’re going to be stuck in high school for the rest of our lives.
I actually gave up being cool around the time I turned 30. That’s when I realized that beneath the “cool” exterior were people who are mostly self-absorbed, shallow and insecure messes. Now somewhat secure in my 30s, I’ve opted to be more civil in my interactions with people, more conscious of how the decisions I make may affect the next person and more appreciative of the people that I have met and helped me along my path—basically, I have become more human.
Yet these cool people are everywhere and their coolness is seriously hurting the community. Somewhere along the line we as a people were conditioned to believe that frontin’ and perpetratin’ on each other was the best way to get ahead. We have internalized the idea of individuality and turned our back on the idea of collective building. We seek out folks, who have something to offer us, but rarely do we ask what we can do for them. We seek validation from those outside of the community, but will indignantly question the motives and intentions of people of our own race. Sadly, we have succumbed to arrogance and masked it under the pretense of coolness or confidence, making it our only defense to hide our collective insecurities.
Cool kids don’t want to go to school because education is wack. Cool people with higher education degrees don’t want to work for their community because it doesn’t pay enough. Cool people hate saying hello to each other and would rather see each other as competition. Cool people can be in a room with only one other black face in a sea of non-colored folks and won’t make eye contact. Cool people walk around with Bluetooth headsets in their ears all day long, even if they are not on a call. Cool people are business-card ready and are always “networking,” but never really taking the time to understand the importance of building real relationships. Cool people spend all their money on bullShyte like flashy jewelry, clothing and cars instead of contributing their resources to build things like supermarkets and schools so that others in their community can be cool too.
When we are too cool, we miss out on opportunities to build together and support one another in a common goal. True confidence isn’t defined by seeing someone as a threat, but rather a partner in the same struggle. Likewise, our collective confidence depends heavily on our ability to have “trust in” or “reliance on” one another. The more we engage in superficial displays of success, the more it seems our community deteriorates – and to me, that’s totally uncool.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
Egami Consulting Group, MS&L Group and Global Grind hosted the Community Installment of Urban 360 Influencer Panel Series on November 15th. The discussion centered on how brands may engage urban culture to effect change and deliver impactful cause/community marketing programs. Panelists included Jenay Alejandro, Multicultural relations of Moet Hennessy, Dupe Ajayi, External Affairs Manager of Taproot Foundation, and was hosted by journalist Jeff Johnson and Teneshia Jackson-Warner of Egami Consulting Group.