This I Believe
I believe in The Dude. I first saw him several years ago, back in my early high school days, but for some people The Dude just strikes a chord with you, and stays in your head forever.
When I originally saw The Big Lebowski, my impression of The Dude was the same as many others, he was a lazy slob who was content to live a useless, pathetic lifestyle. He wore a bathrobe grocery shopping, wrote checks for sixty-nine cents, had no job, and who dropped the F-bomb every other sentence. How could anyone who spends all their time bowling and drinking White Russians have any sort of decent sense of morality or worth? The Dude just seemed to cruise through his life, many times as a passenger.
However, as time ticks and tocks, we begin to see a different side of The Dude. His true values and inner personality emerge. He’s not someone satisfied with a poor lifestyle, but rather at ease with what he has; a person who can find pleasure in the simplest of things. His home may be small and unkempt, but no doubt it’s all he needed. A person shouldn’t be defined by their house or possessions, and The Dude exemplifies this. His house shelters him, his 1973 Ford Torino gets him from place to place, and even if it’s stolen and defecated in, he can still walk to get where he needs to be. If a person can be truly happy bowling and drinking White Russians, then I believe we can all find joy in such uncomplicated actions.
I think we can all apply a little of The Dude in our lives. I used to think it was a little odd I was completely happy doing word searches, or sitting on the front porch listening to music with my dog, or going to play pool by myself. Everyone else seemed to have such active, fulfilling lives, and yet here I was, partaking in these mundane, slow activities. The Dude showed me I wasn’t missing out on anything…I was still reaching the same destination the people around me were, I was just walking slower down my path and taking the time to look at the flora and play with the fauna. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a flashy or busy person, as long as you’re happy and having a good time, then that’s what is important. Value isn’t something that should be measured my comparing it to other people or putting a price tag on it. It’s not the urn that holds significance, it’s the ash inside.
I believe it’s the simple things that matter, whether it’s a perfect strike, a good drink, a reliable friend, a nice conversation with a stranger, or just a rug that really ties a room together. I believe in The Dude, I believe in enjoying all of life’s pleasures, and I believe we should all abide.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.