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Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009, 02:28 pm

Very much in keeping with the previous post is fragbert's excellent little manifesto (h/t hughcasey):
... [M]ost everything that Jesus taught can be distilled down to one simple, if not a bit vulgar, statement: "Life is hard, we're all in this together, don't be a dick."

I think the world might be a better place if people stopped wearing clothing and jewelry with "WWJD" plastered on it, and replaced it with "DBAD".
  • Let a car into traffic. She's been sitting there for a while and she probably has to be somewhere soon, just like you do.
  • Smile at someone. They're probably having a shitty day and could use some positive energy. If they're not having a shitty day, it won't hurt to keep their good mood going.
  • Thank the barista, the cashier, the bag boy, the lunch lady, the crossing guard, the guy that empties your office trash, and the telephone operator. I don't care if it's their job to serve you. We all serve someone.
  • Find someone (or more than one) on your LJ Friends List that you haven't commented to in a while. Post a comment letting them know that you're glad they're on your List.
  • Make it a point to compliment someone today. On anything. Everyone has something worthy of praise and admiration.
  • Tell *everyone* you love exactly that. Life is short, shit happens, and the people who are important to us need to know they've had a positive effect on someone else's life. It's entirely possible that our own lives are measured solely on how we affected others.
Here's today's project: if you're in agreement, and are so inclined, post "DBAD" in your LJ today, with a link back to this entry.
ETA: I seem to have to emphasize: I didn't write this. fragbert did.
(Deleted comment)

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)

Hear, hear.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)

I need to find the transcript, but I once saw the great philosopher George Carlin discussing The 10 Commandments.

Boiled down they mean: Be cool to each other.

However DBAD is more likely to get through to people.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)

Generational differences.

Thu, Aug. 13th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)

George Carlin spends a comedy routine treating a major tenet of my religion as if it were a marketing scheme, "Clearly a bull***t list." He says that the Tenth Commandment, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods," is "just plain f***ing stupid!" The contrast in values is funny, so I don't mind the playful teasing.

However, he finishes by adding a commandment of his own, addressed to both some particular Christian activists and to all Christians in general, "Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself!"

He tromps through my religion with muddy boots and then yells at us Christians to keep off his lawn. I seldom use vulgar language, but given the context one comment seems appropriate. George Carlin, don't be a dick.

Thu, Aug. 13th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)

You DO know Carlin's dead, right?

Fri, Aug. 14th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)

No, I didn't know. That is a shame, because he was a great comedian.

However, even though Tom Smith is a great musician with an interesting blog, I did not expect George Carlin himself to read my comment. Instead I wanted to point out that even a master performer like George Carlin could sometimes step over the line from comedy to insult. Comedy is hard.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)

Love it.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)

I haven't told you how before much I appreciate your posts, but I do. Thank you and please consider yourself smiled at. :)

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)

Don't be a dick has infamously been the motto of Wil Wheaton. It's at the top of his blog, it was the subject of his keynote speech at PAX 2007, and it's on a shirt that he sells. I own the shirt and wear it frequently.

I think it's a good idea for life.

I frequently remind people that when Jesus was asked what is the basic idea of all religion, he replied, "Love God and love your neighbor." I think too many people forget the latter half of that equation.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
annearchy: +1 gajillion

This expands very nicely on the Golden Rule.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)

As Bill and Ted said, "Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!"

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)

I designed a couple bead patterns for beady people to make bracelets!

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
johnhedtke: Way to be!

This is really nice stuff, Tom. Well spoke.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)

"Don't be a dick" has always been my one rule for the Universe. This is what I like about Jesus, even as a non-Christian. NOT BEING A DICK IS THE POINT.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)

I would do, if he hadn't had the first bullet point item be something I not only completely disagree with, but which is a major driving peeve of mine.

Stopping traffic behind you to let someone pull out helps one person while annoying twenty. It's made even worse when (in my experience about 50% of the time) the person being let into traffic pulls straight forward and waits for the next lane to stop so s/he can make a left turn. If it's an 18-wheeler I can understand and sympathize... but if it's Soccer Mom Alone in a Ford Taurus... well, the kindest thing I'd like to do to such people is buy them a local road map and demonstrate that yes, there ARE alternate routes to their destination that can be reached by turning RIGHT out of the parking lot, thank you.

In moving traffic, say on a freeway, there hell yes you let people in, give people room when they signal lane changes, etc. But in thick traffic, when one or both cars are stopped, the kindest thing you can do for the greatest number of people is to get out of the way- get to where you're going and PARK, already.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)

On the other hand, if I have to stop at a red light and I have a choice about blocking driveway where someone is trying to get out into traffic, I will stop the few feet farther back to let the person into traffic.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)

Honestly, if traffic is that bad, people are going to annoyed by ANYTHING that happens, and if not you letting that person in, someone else will and the cycle will continue anyway. Why not be that kindness, accepting the consequences as inevitable? You're not going anywhere in that kind of traffic anyway, so why not brighten the day of one person for even a second?

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)

TNH answered the question: JWRTFM.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)

When you say "Thank You" please meet thier eyes. Actually, do that WHENEVER you speak to them. It really helps.

Actually, I harken back to simpler times, and a phrase that was impressed upon me in my youth:

"Be Excellent To Each Other"

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)

Great idea. I would make it "safe for the children" by changing it to "Don't be a jerk." DBAJ

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)

fragbert is a metamour of mine, he's my sweetie mladypain's other sweetie. He's a pretty darn chill dude.

Edited for typonese.

Edited at 2009-08-11 10:08 pm (UTC)

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)

Smile at someone.

And if they don't smile back as big as you want them to, DON'T CALL THEM ON IT!

Last week, I got a big cheery hello, which was nice. I replied with a more subdued hello, and she came back with a now-annoyingly-cheery, "Too much cheerful for you right now, huh?" I as *fine* before I saw her. I was mad afterwards. Gee, thanks.

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)

Selina Rosen has a similar notion: The First Church of Don't Be An Asshole.

Somewhere, I've got the DBAA button...

Wed, Aug. 12th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)

I've been a member of the Church of DBAA for several years now. I have my button pinned proudly on my denim jacket! :)

Although when I'm at work and my boss' boss asks what it means, I politely say "Don't Bring An Attitude" :)

Tue, Aug. 11th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)

Oh this is way cool. Thanks for linking to fragbert's post.

Wed, Aug. 12th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
hvideo: Love the sentiment, Hate the language

I'm probably best at points 1 and 3 (letting cars in, thanking people in usually-thankless jobs). I agree in general with the rest, too, BUT....

As phrased, it's awfully negative. It carries the connotation "You currently ARE being a dick." Sorry, I don't believe that that is usually correct. Most people are in neutral most of the time. Having your catchphrase be an insult is counterproductive.

If you (or fragbert) used a positive instead, I'd go for it. "Be Nice" does the job in two words. If you want four, "Be Nice To Everyone." BNTE.

Wed, Aug. 12th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)

I always try my best to be nice to everyone. Ive got smile wrinkles from smiling all the time (proud of them too ). Although there are sometimes that speaking nice to someone they don't get it. Example. neighbor because of skin color thought that I was unworthy to speak back too, Well that don't fly in my book.NONE of us don't care what skin color anyone is .. is NO Better then anyone else. she tried to walk by as if I wasn't even there after I said a nice hello to her which in turn brought out my little demon pointed out that she was no better then me and speaking was NOT going to change anything about her, Now when she see's me she makes a point of speaking. if we would all learn that no one is better then anyone else that would bridge a big gap also HEy when we die we are ALL going to be worm food anyway.

Thu, Aug. 13th, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)

fragbert's post started with an acknowledgment that he was not an expert on Jesus:
I'm a militant secular humanist....
I offered my opinion that most everything that Jesus taught can be distilled down to one simple, if not a bit vulgar, statement: "Life is hard, we're all in this together, don't be a dick."
It is proper he did so, since his distillation is off the mark. Jesus was much bolder.

Fragbert summarized, "Life is hard." Jesus said, ""Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. Sell your possessions and give to the poor." (Luke 12, 22-26, 29-30,33) Jesus admits that some things are hard, such as giving wealth away to the poor, but other things are blessed.

Fragbert summarized, "We're all in this together." Okay, Jesus agrees on this. When Jesus told a scholar to love his neighbor, the scholar asked, "And who is my neighbor?" Then Jesus told him the tale of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:25-37) to illustrate that all people are our neighbors.

Fragbert summarized, "Don't be a dick." Okay, a lot of religious people, Christians and non-Christians, think that a few good works cancel out the rudeness and selfishness of the rest of the believer's life. That is an error that "Don't be a dick" helps prevent. Nevertheless, Jesus had much stronger standards for everyone, "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31)

Thu, Aug. 13th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
lizziecrowe: the Bolder Jesus

In his thinking, Jesus was quite bold indeed for the time (or any time, for that matter). He demanded tolerance, equality, and the free treatment of others as you would those you love. 'Love thy neighbor' was not a suggestion, it was a mandate of living. Would that all Christians would stand by Christ's word instead of what their leaders TELL them Christ wants.

All in all, Well said, Erin!

Sat, Aug. 22nd, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the re-post. Like it, try to do it (although meeting the eye (as suggested by one of your commenters) is not something I'm always good at -- especially while juggling my change and my goods and my ...) despite that (me behaving in that fashion) having nothing to do with who may or may not have suggested it.