Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.

Too Cool

I marvel, when I visit a grade 4 class, at how many kids I have volunteering, leaping up enthusiastically with hands waving in the air, to perform a role in the skit I have announced we will do in together. Nothing would please them more than to draw attention to themselves, to participate, to have fun.

More marvelous still, I visit the grade 10 class, and ask for volunteers. Like pulling teeth, I have to beg, plead with them to come forward to help me out - I promise them they'll go to heaven if they help me - even then, getting volunteer can be near impossible.

They're too cool.

Too cool to come forward, too cool to volunteer, too cool to ask questions, too cool to put themselves out, too cool to have everyone look at them.

They may even tell themselves under their breath - this is stupid, I'm not doing this - that's kids stuff, that's baby stuff - I'm not making a fool of myself for this.

Sad really. Of course, "too cool" is actually a guise for something else. As they get older, like by grade 12, they can even admit it, although they rarely name it - if they did, they'd overcome it instantaneously.

What am I talking about?

"Too cool" = "afraid."

Afraid to come forward, afraid to volunteer, afraid to ask questions, afraid to put themselves out, afraid to have everyone look at them.

Afraid to live.

I remember that fear, still feel it occasionally. I remember not wanting everyone looking at me UNLESS it was on my terms, when I could be perfect - if not, forget it, I'll hide in the shadows. I knew that what I had to offer wasn't good enough.

And I was WRONG. I know that now - and hope that those reading this, that might right now be "too cool" might take my words to heart.

Afterall, from that grade 10 class, there may be one or two people who will put their hands up, will come forward, will put themselves on the line. They have overcome their fear. They have confidence. WHO CARES! they say, WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS!!

You know what those rare, exceptional people end up being?

They're cool.