Cool And Composed

The 44th President of the United States of America is someone who exhibits a great amount of composure. In and out of office, Barack Obama has never publicly lost his calm, thoughtful demeanor. Regardless of one’s personal opinion of Mr. Obama, it’s obvious to most observers that he is a cool and composed man. He has displayed this attribute even during the most trying moments of crisis or even following the most bizarre instances of criticism.

I rarely share overt political observations on this blog. Even the above paragraph about the former President does not cross that line. The observation about his composure is what inspired today’s topic. I think that composure is one of the most powerful attributes that anyone can cultivate to improve one’s life. When a person is effectively a lightning rod for political critics, it is wise to remain calm and composed. If that person occupies one of the most powerful political offices in the world, a cool, calm, deliberate, thoughtful approach is vital to national/international stability and cooperation–among other values.

I have a sticky note with a saying from the ancient Roman poet Horace that is located inside the medicine cabinet in my bathroom. “The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do.” The sticky note is at eye-level, so I see it every time I gather the toothbrush and toothpaste to care for my teeth. The quotation helps me keep events in proper perspective. I don’t have the cool composure of President number 44, but the Horace quote reminds me that it is attainable.

When we observe the truly great people in society and in history, we notice they have two important attributes. The ability to remain focused and how to maintain their composure. These people are in athletics, business, spirituality, literature, entertainment, and perhaps, our personal acquaintances. Even if we disagree with their political or religious opinions, it is valuable to study their demeanor and level of comportment. Exuding confidence, dignity, and the presence of mind to be fully accountable for one’s actions is one mark of a great person regardless of her or his station in life.

The ability to be cool and collected is not an inborn trait. Composure is a quality that is consciously, carefully nurtured and cultivated. It comes with adopting a proactive, confident outlook. This skill is available to anyone who invests the necessary time and effort.

I’m not an expert at remaining cool and calm, so I continue to observe and study people who are. There are exceptional people who do not seek out conflict yet they’re not afraid to confront it either. These rare people are able to gracefully withstand withering personal attacks. They understand that in order to achieve the greatest goals that they refrain from personally attacking their adversaries. They don’t point the finger of blame at others, but humbly admit their errors, then make honest efforts to improve.

I find great joy in observing great artists, teachers, leaders, and even a politician or two. They are authentically vulnerable yet also exhibit appropriate control and composure. To possess graceful composure is a virtue worth pursuing.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki. “Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. Unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Controversy, cultural highlights, Health, Politics, religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Cool And Composed

  1. GP Cox says:

    I think my Santa is taking it slow and east too!

    Have a great Holiday Season!

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