By Lee Glazier
Whenever I hop on social media, I, uh, feel totally out of my element.
Everybody’s so pissed off and offended, man. Why? I don’t get it. I’ve even seen a couple comment threads in TTB posts get kinda prickly. Mostly, I think it’s the know-it-all phenomenon. The net’s made us all experts on everything, Dudes.
But here’s a secret: I don’t know shit.
I know about a lot of subjects, but that’s not really knowing, ya know? Knowing is like when I take a swig of a strong IPA and say, “Whew, that’s bitter.” Or when someone opens a bag of weed and it smells like five skunks suddenly got startled by a backfiring VW while sharing a blunt.
It’s a lover’s eyes, man, and the warm sun on my face. That’s knowing. Life from a first person perspective. Most of the shit we argue about is all secondhand knowledge or opinions we learned from people who patted us on the head when we agreed with them.
How much of us is really us? How much is our parents, Father McChrist, or little Johnny Dickhead who used to call us names in the third grade? How much is habit and impulse?
Probably a metric fuck ton, right? When I read angry comments online, I want to butt in sometimes and say, “Hey, just take it easy, man.” But, I usually take my own advice before I get the chance to respond. Because that contention, man; that isn’t me. That’s something @SomeDouche87 is trying to pawn off on me like dirty undies. No way man; I’m a hookah bar, not a laundromat.
That’s why I dig abiding and meditation, Dudes. If I can uncover a little joy and satisfaction that doesn’t have anything to with anything external, I’m going to cut back on trying to use people and things to make me happy. When I get aggravated with someone online, ya know, that’s because I was staking my peace on other people not being assholes. That’s a risky move. Like putting up a Christmas tree if you have cats.
I think that peace of mind solely depends on our, uh, on the logic we’ve mapped out for it. “I’ll be at peace if this, that, and the other thing happens, but not this and definitely not that.”
But if I can kick that logic and maybe look to just being conscious as my only criteria for peace, it might come easier.
Because that’s all we want, isn’t it? Just some satisfaction. That’s why @DildoBaggins left a rude comment, and that’s why I wanna say something rude back—to relieve some tension. But there are a lot of ways to relieve tension. My favorite method is just looking around. I hear a clock ticking right now, 3:10 to Yuma is on the TV in the living room. There’s a cushion beneath my rumpus and a slight smile on my lips.
Just here, just abiding. What do I care if someone insults me? And it’s not even them—it’s just words. Words aren’t people. Online, I don’t even know the person writing them 99% of the time. When we read something, it’s ours, it’s in our heads as our thoughts, man. So if I get all pissed off over something I’ve read, I’m really just getting pissed at myself.
That’s a simple fix, though. “Just thoughts. Just words.”
I’d rather talk about things I know and love than things that I annoy me. Let’s talk about Led Zeppelin, or some awesome day you had in nature. Maybe even that first heartache. Real talk, ya know?
Life got better when I started to only carry what I was born with, Dudes. When I looked at my cluttered mind and said, “Who’s crap is this?”
Whenever we argue, we’re shouting through all that clutter. There’s just no point in tit for tat unless we’ve both got a clear view. That said, there’s a difference between argument and abuse. If I see someone being attacked, I’m gonna step in and say, “This aggression will not stand, man.”
There are some things I just can’t abide, Dudes. But I can accept that non-acceptance. What’s cool about that is you start to develop the, “Huh?” phenomenon.
Someone says or does something over the line at 8 in the morning, you defend yourself or someone else, they come back and say, “I’m sorry,” at 9 and you go, “Sorry for what?” “I’m sorry for what I said earlier.” “Oh, that? That was like a million years ago. Don’t worry about it.”
My grandpa always said, “Travel light.”
Sure, he was a drifter and an alcoholic, but I’d be committing an ad hominem fallacy if I rejected his advice because of that. The more I hold onto, the more I’m gonna be held back. Chains work both ways, man, captor and captive are interchangeable. The main ingredient freedom is letting others be free.
Take ‘er easy, Dudes.
“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?” If you like his writing, feel free to check out his Patreon/blog
Editor: Dana Gornall
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