Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Element of Cool

I didn't coin the prase used in the subject line... I heard it from my friend Shanna. However, I would like to pose a question to the virtual world about what that phrase means.

I was talking with another friend of mine on Sunday... and she said that the idea of being "cool" is a huge lie that has been handed down in our society. I hope I quoted her correctly on that... at least that is what I got from what she said. That being said... here is my point: Who defines what cool is?

Donald Miller, in his book Searching for God Knows What talks about Life Boat Theory. Life Boat Theory essentially says that if you have a group of 7 people in a life boat that can only support 6 people... how do you determine who gets thrown out?

Miller says that all of our lives are spent trying to be of more value in society than someone else (and thus securing one of the 6 spots in the life boat). You see it very clearly in children... there is always one kid who gets picked on by everyone else. Then, on the other side of the coin is the "cool kid" who everyone looks up to. (see also Lord of the Flies by William Golding).

And so we all find ourselves in this spectrum... not everyone is at the top (the Donald Trumps of the world) and not everyone is at the bottom (the people whose names we don't care to learn). We are all in the middle... but we are always jockeying for a higher position.

The fundemental problem with this (as pointed out by Donald Miller) is that we are not to compare ourselves to other people... but rather we are to find our worth in Christ alone. Adam and Eve did this before they tasted of the fruit. From then on... the human race has been in this competition with itself... all the while losing site of Who truly gives us value.

So what does it mean to be cool?