Recently, it was brought to my attention that there is a perception in the neighborhood I reside in, that I’m an “asshole.”
A long time ago, I’d been rather uptight and likely would’ve marked it a zero in a confrontational manner that would’ve been the verbal equivalent of pulling my pistol in the lane of life. In the parlance of our times, I decided the best course of action would be to examine this from the Tao of Walter and the Dude.
Many of my fellow Dudeist will readily recall the exchange between Walter and the Dude in the parking lot where the classic line “You’re not wrong, you’re just an asshole!” comes into play.
While some will argue if Smokey’s toe was over the line and if Walter pulling his piece was “over the line” in of itself, many people focus on the single tree of a pistol being pulled and miss the forest of Walter’s words and intention.
Too many people tend to focus on the concept of “taking it easy” and in times where that’s possible, that’s ok. In a perfect world, all of us ideally would abide in a peaceful coexistence with others in the realization we’re all achievers trying to make it to the semi’s.
As we learn from Walter, there are individuals and situations that morally and ethically require each of us to draw a line in the sand that can’t be crossed. Those lines vary from individual to individual.
I long decided that when it comes to fair weather friends/family, liars, gossips, thieves, users, two faces, and drug addicts who refuse to acknowledge their addiction, I have no time or place in their false Big Lebowski illusion when reality shows them for the goldbricking phonies they are.
A couple days ago, I learned that a few of my special ladies “acquaintances” have given me the honorary title of being an “asshole”, because of my refusing to associate myself with the gossiping, two facing, backstabbing, ripping off of others money and abuse of meth and pills they delude themselves with.
In person, I tend to speak my mind very frankly, very honestly, very directly and thus far have never been troubled with other people knocking at my door asking me about the Jerry Springer sideshow of “he said/she said”. I awoke to the realization that any speech, any individuals, or any situations that don’t enrich me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually are simply lines in the sand of my life that won’t be crossed.
Often, we get lost in Walter’s obsession of the past, his telling Donny to “shut the fuck up”, and his role as the Confucian dragon to step back and acknowledge how despite his rough exterior, Walter indeed was just being honest and real in a world where pacifism and illusion couldn’t stand or be abided.
Even in the end, The Dude realized the need for lines in the sand that can’t be crossed when he confronted De Fino, The Big Lebowski, the Nihilist, and even Walter himself after scattering Donny’s ashes.
My personal journey through life, dealing with family court, and individuals has taught me that emotions and facts can and should be honestly expressed but never should be an attachment.
Sometimes Dudes, life warrants being that “asshole” who speaks and lives in a world where others won’t accept the rules of nature and where fluid pacifist actions won’t stand. Sometimes you’re neither wrong or an asshole. Sometimes you’re just the man or woman of your time and place who fits in where and who you need to be.
If that makes you an “asshole”, always remember to be perfectly calm, and calmer than those throwing the label of “asshole” in a negative light.