By Lee Glazier
Life can be, uh, complex. Sometimes there are lot of moving pieces, man. It’s easy for shit to get tangled up in ol’ Duder’s head.
A lot of people bash philosophy these days, but everybody’s got a philosophy, Dudes. We might not view it as one, we might not have even put it into words, but it’s still there. We get our philosophies from our experiences, but they can, ya know, shape and determine our experiences too because they affect how we experience our experiences. Then that affects how we behave, and behavior contributes to future—well you see what I mean.
When shit gets complex, a simple philosophy can help out a lot. A complicated worldview can make a simple life seem complicated; imagine what it can do to a complicated life.
One of my favorites is my grandpa’s philosophy: “Happiness is a roof over your head and food in your stomach.” It’s tough to find a philosophy that’s much simpler than that.
And it isn’t even a naive view, man. Why isn’t that all it takes to be happy? There’s no good reason why I should need more than that in life to feel relatively content. Not everyone has food in their stomach, ya know? Not everyone’s got a roof to sleep under. So, why can’t I be happy with it? Why do I take it for granted? Why don’t I value it and treat it as, ya know, the something special that it is?
Envy’s one reason, Dudes. Sure, I’ve got food in my stomach, but it isn’t great food, and my roof isn’t a great roof. It’s got some loose shingles, and the house itself creaks and moans like it’s a fuckin’ haunted GI tract or some shit. But that sorta thing doesn’t have to matter to me. No one makes us value some things more than others, man.
Habituation is another reason. We just get used to shit, so we stop noticing it. We can’t appreciate something if we don’t notice that it’s there. My grandpa’s philosophy is all about appreciating what we have, even if it isn’t a lot.
All things considered, I’d say I’ve got it pretty good.
I had Chinese food with my dad and brother today, came home and played with my cat, now I’m drinking coffee and writing this post on a functional laptop. If I’m not happy, that means my priorities are outta whack.
It’s alright to have grand philosophies, I think. It’s cool to dream and have big goals. But it’s better to be adaptive, ya know? So that when shit gets real, when the world seems to be collapsing around our ears, we can shift gears and take it as it comes.
Because a nightmare is a sweet dream that’s out of reach, Dudes. Sometimes, instead of shooting for strikes, it helps to just go for one pin. Hell, sometimes we might have to work on bowling the perfect gutter ball. Then, when the fog clears, we can start trying for strikes again.
The trick to livin’ is to intuitively know what life’s asking for from day-to-day. Is the day asking for a big philosophy and grandiose dreams, or is it asking for something simple and down to earth? So I get a feel for the day and then choose my illusion to fit it, Dudes.
Right now, for this moment, it’s the view that the good life is a noisy boiler and indoor plumbing. Tomorrow, things might be different, so—to stay on the same page—I’ll have to be different.
But that’s tomorrow, man. That’s tomorrow, and tomorrow never knows.
Editor: Dana Gornall
“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?”
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