7 Lessons from the Big Lebowski ...

7 Lessons from the Big Lebowski ...

The Big Lebowski is one of the greatest movies ever made for any number of reasons, and many people learn valuable life lessons from The Big Lebowski as a result. It's not so surprising if you've seen the movie. If you haven't, take an hour and a half or so and go do that. Don't worry; I'll wait! Honestly, Jeff Bridges made this role, his laid back Dude tempered by low-key, eager-to-please Donny (Steve Buscemi) and high-strung, trigger happy Walt (the most beloved John Goodman). Between the three, there are plenty of lessons from The Big Lebowski that will make your life better.

1. The Dude Abides

All right, so slackers rarely prosper, but they don't stress a lot either, do they? The Dude abides, making this one of the best lessons from The Big Lebowski. See, the same can be true for anyone. The Lyndsie abides. The Jen abides. The Chloe abides. We all abide. Find the balance between stressing yourself out every day over things you can't control and just letting them be. Some things are worth the stress, true enough, but many things aren't. Learn to tell the difference and you'll abide, too.

2. Everybody Needs a Good Rug

This is both true and metaphorical. I mean, a good rug really does tie a room together. Metaphorically speaking, however, everyone needs something that ties their lives together. It might be your children, your BFF, your job, or a beautiful black, cream, and pink rug from IKEA. Whatever it is, you fight tooth and nail to keep it. Don't let anyone take away what you love.

3. A Bath Always Helps

As long as there are no strange animals in your bathtub, a nice soak is always helpful. Everyone needs to take time for themselves, even the Dude. Whether you enjoy hot baths, long books, or refreshing jogs, take that time for yourself. But do yourself a favor: if you're taking a bath, make sure you lock the door.

4. Always Treat Strangers Nicely

Do you know what happens when you f*ck a stranger in the ass? Sometimes someone bashes your car all to crap. Or your karma rating might go out the window. Or you might discover that the waiter you just treated like dirt is your BFF's new boyfriend. The point is, try not to lie, try to treat people the way you want to be treated, and remember that no one is really deserving of bad behavior, because even if they've done something heinous, they probably deserve your pity more.

5. Watch Your Drinks

Yeah, don't ever accept a drink from someone else. That's just bad business. Don't do it at parties or work dos or bars. You never know what might happen, but if it can go badly for the Dude, it can definitely go badly for you, too.

6. Occam's Razor Always Applies

In simpler terms, keep it simple, stupid. Once you start trying to get all clever and complex in a situation that doesn't warrant it, everything goes to hell. It's practically a guarantee. Coming from a girl who has been known to concoct complicated falsehoods in order to get out of or explain away very simple situations, I can attest to this. The simplest solution is almost always the best choice.

7. Sometimes You Eat the Bear, Sometimes the Bear Eats You

There's some debate over what the Stranger actually said, since the wonderful Sam Elliott's accent is very strong in The Big Lebowski, but whether you say bear or bar or behr, like my awesome lawyer friend Jon, it remains the same. Life is bipolar. You never know what's going to happen, so the only thing you can do is prepare yourself as best you can and take everything as it comes. Remember, you're abiding; not everything is within your control. Life isn't always fair but sometimes you're able to jump on that sucker and ride it 'til the wheels fall off. With a White Russian firmly in hand, of course.

Wouldn't you love to be more like the Dude? Because it's true, friends: the Dude abides. Take that attitude, let troubles roll off your back, have an occasional cocktail, and your life will become far more easygoing. What movies have taught you the most helpful life lessons?

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