A post with this title could easily be one sentence or an entire book to rival the page count of Atlas Shrugged.
The fact that there’s so much debate surrounding how not to be a dick is pretty amazing, considering most people are pretty apt at discerning who is a dick in a crowded bar.
I’d like to believe most people strive not to be dicks, so with that in mind lets take a look at some simple ways to avoid it.
Personally, I believe not being a dick can be broken down into a handful of categories:
1. Don’t be a dick to other people.
The golden rule, right? This one is pretty straightforward yet people mess it up all the time. I’m not going to go very far into this here but how about if something you do physically or emotionally hurts someone else, try your hardest no to do that thing because it’s dickish, ok? Ok.
2. Don’t be a dick to other beings.
I think we’re far past the point in history where we think animals don’t feel pain, suffering, fear, etc. I’m aware of the circle of life and that some animals eat other animals or use them for beneficial purposes that may not be so beneficial to the later animal. But how about we just try to minimize the degree to which we make other beings suffer? Perhaps by not cramming them in cages roughly the size of their bodies for their entire lives or chaining them to a tree in our backyard and never feeding them. Just a thought.
3. Don’t be a dick to the environment.
I honestly kind of hate the phrase “the environment” because it gives the impression it is something existing outside the context of human civilization. I use it however because it’s easy, useful, and recognizable. “The environment” however would be better served if we all just admitted that the entire planet is “the environment” and it happens to be the only one we live on. It also so happens that the earth does not care whether we as a species live or die, so although I do love trees, birds, and other nice things like that I mostly care about our prolonged existence on this planet. I like this one and Mars looks kind of shitty to be honest.
4. Don’t be a dick to yourself.
This one can get dicey because when you start telling someone never to be hard on his or herself you start leading them to believe they shit gold. I think people need to judge their own actions and change where appropriate and no I do not believe everyone is a unique, beautiful, and special butterfly. I do however believe that judging yourself based on the ridiculous standards society outlines and generally hating yourself can lead to unhappiness not just for you but for those around you. So stop being unnecessarily dickish to yourself.
I tend to stick to these principles when I’m trying to decide what to do with my obnoxiously self-aware being and also when people ask me why I do something the way I do.
“why are you mostly vegetarian?”
“Well inquisitive someone, I’m fairly certain eating conventionally-produced meat is being a pretty big dick to both the environment and sentient beings!”