Don’t be a dick.
I wrote this about 6 months ago when I decided, again, that I was going to start a blog. That spark of motivation fizzled pretty quickly, but here are the ashes:
Time for my first blog post. Sort of.
I tried my hand at blogging for a brief 12 hour stint when I was 20 and travelling through Asia. I think I got bored/distracted/forgot. Anyway, it didn’t stick.
And like every well behaved developer who tries to write something that isn’t code, I’m writing this in Sublime. Old habits die hard, I guess.
Last night, my housemate and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie. The movie* watching attempt was a failure. But a few glasses of wine, and a haunting episode of Black Mirror later, we got onto the topic of people. More specifically, how easy life would be if humans followed one simple rule.
Don’t be a dick.
We dabbled in defining what that means. All the basic moral codes came up first — no murder, rape, infidelity, theft, using up the last ice cubes from the freezer without refilling the tray. The conversation eventually moved on — relating morality back to religion, and ending in a half-ass viewing of:
But the next day, I was curious as to the origins of this simple axiom. “Don’t be a dick.” It’s something I believe in, and attempt to embody as much as possible. But it surprised me to see the not so official context in which it was coined.
Essentially, it was Wil Wheaton at PAX ’07 (Video game convention) in the context of interacting with people on online games. Neat, right?
But this penny of wisdom has broader implications. It can and should be applied to many other facets of your life.
If less people were dicks to each other, everyone would benefit. You don’t even have to go out of your way to be nice and benevolent and perform wholesome altruistic deeds. You just have resist the urge to be a dick. It’s that easy.
Sure, it’s even nicer when people go out of their way to do nice things for others, that’s awesome. But as a society, the net gain would be greater if everyone were to simply avoid being a dick. This means no judging others for decisions/life choices that might go against your personal beliefs but have no direct impact on you. This means avoiding aggression and violence and harassment. This means going about your day to day life without making someone else’s life worse because you’re in the world.
It’s so easy. Just do it.