By Andrea Favro, The Italian Dudeship
This article comes out from a couple of threads in our forum about what Dudeism is, where Dudeism is going, which are the tenets of Dudeism, or if you prefer, which are the characteristics of a Dude, et cetera.
Dudeism is Dudeism. It isn’t Lebowskism. It isn’t Abideism. It isn’t Take’reeasyism. And so on. While Dudeism can be applied to every field of existence, not every field of existence can be applied to Dudeism. Or said differently: a Dude can be everyone, but not everyone can be a Dude. You can be a Dude-Christian, a Dude-Muslim, a Dude-Cop, you can even be a Dude-Politician, but if you are some kind of uptight asshole then there is no way you can be a Dude.
If you look into the established tenets of the Dudeism ethos, like What is Dudeism and the Take it Easy Manifesto, you’ll see very few references to The Big Lebowski (except as our most obvious symbolic vehicle) because Dudeism, as a religion, it’s not based on a movie, but on thousands years old principles aimed at living a simpler, better life flowing around obstacles while enjoying the trip. A real-life trip Dudes, not the acid flashback type.
Though we dig the Dude’s style, and we’ve even written books referencing him, he’s just an example to show some features of what Dudeism is or might become. The Dude is not Dudeism. Actually in my humble opinion, Po from Kung Fu Panda presents a much better example of Abiding. But this is just my imho, man.
Anyway, what is Dudeism, or better, what makes someone a Dude?
First of all there are the three tenets of Dudeism, and I’ve said tenets on purpose. I know that everything is open to discussion, everything can change, bla bla bla, but if we take away Avoid Uptight Thinking, Just Take it Easy, Man and Abide from Dudeism than we have Dudeism no more; we have something else. They perfectly explain what Dudeism is, in their simplicity, are pretty easy to remember, and on their own explain how to live a dudely life.
So, let them be our tenets carved into stone until some Dudeist council of Nicea decides that they don’t fit Dudeism anymore or until a Dudeist Martin Luther comes around and starts a Dudeist reformation movement.
Actually taking things easy is probably the most difficult tenet to apply, as sometimes it happens also on the forum, but hey, if you’re not able to take things easy then you’re not a Dude. And I say this knowing what I’m saying because for me too sometimes it’s difficult to take ‘er easy. But no one said that being a Dude is always easy, simple for sure but not always easy.
Nevertheless, given that our whole durned human nature is such a complicated case, sometimes it’s difficult to know where the trail is just following the three tenets, we need a bit more detailed map, so to speak, and this is my idea about what to add to the basic tenets of Dudeism:
The Holy Idiot
First of all we must discuss an attitude of seriously silliness. As a friend said on the forum, our modest task is to be the holy idiots who tell the truth to the world; not to force our opinions on the world, but to try to cut through the clutter and crud of all the pre-existing opinions. Not that this is another easy task. Oh well. Actually, the seriously silly attitude should be applied to us first and to the rest of the world second. Think globally, but laugh locally.
Respect encompasses a lot of things: from letting others expressing their opinions, to letting others do what they want if they don’t cross lines (like what happens between consenting adults is their business), respecting others’ rugs, letting others living their own life as they wish (always if they don’t cross lines of course), not thinking that the world start and stops at your own convenience, respecting ourselves, the others, the planet. It means also respecting yourself and not letting others treat you as a sap or piss on your rug. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.
Minding and Rules
The Dude minds! We can respect people’s freedoms, but if their freedoms impinge on our own or the freedoms of others, then this aggression will not stand. That’s when we draw a line in the sand. Otherwise, we are just Nihilists in disguise. A Dude is able to know the difference between good rules and uptight rules.
Perhaps all this can be summarized with something like: "A seriously silly Dude respects minding useful rules."
For the moment, this is my opinion on what Dudeism is. As the religion for its time and place we should try to keep it as simple as possible. Am I wrong?