Cool will leave you high and dry.
This may be a little opportunistic, but the fall of Maurice Clarett highlights a key aspect of cool: yesterday doesn't matter a hill of beans. Cool is as fair-weather a friend as could be imagined. Maurice Clarett was - and presumably still is - one of the best athletes in the United States. He fell in with the wrong crowd, and after getting cut from his football team, they came after him, expecting to get their money back.
They had bankrolled his Malibu lifestyle, and during that year or two Clarett was the big cheese. But cool is full of contradictions and will devour those who can't cope. Just ask Elvis Presley.
The point is not to glory in someone else's fall. The point of this whole project is not to learn how to protect ourselves, but to unlearn cool, and to learn compassion in its place. Compassion will last. Cool won't.