When was the last time you read something that challenged you? Do you have a fiction or non-fiction book now that makes you reconsider perspectives on parenting, religion, or health? If not, make reading a title that pushes your belief buttons a goal for this year.
This week, I finished Jordan B. Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for Life. Peterson is considered a controversial Canadian conservative because of his political viewpoints and opinions about gender identities. I learned about his work as a phycologist and university professor from YouTube.
Anytime you search for motivational videos, something with excerpts from Peterson’s interviews and lectures will appear.
My introduction to him came through a clip where he explained how many religions preach that suffering is an unavoidable element of life. In the video, he discussed Buddhism and Christianity. He also talked about the importance of developing internal fortitude to combat the inevitable suffering.
While the coronavirus is morphing into different strands around the world, I find refuge in Peterson's advice. I am praying, meditating, writing, and exercising to combat covid related anxiety.
I decided to grab his book to learn more about his rules for life.
In reading the text, I surprised myself by agreeing with some of his ideas. For example, rule five states, “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.” Of course, parents always love their children, but there are moments when they dislike them for various reasons.
Maybe, I am just speaking for myself and the parents in my circle. Perfect parents will not understand my previous statement. I'm not throwing shade but showing light on a parental truth.
Reading about the importance of taking a firm and loving stance in raising children, I paid more attention to my role as a father this week. I issued more punishments than usual and had some difficult conversations with my three little ones. Peterson’s book forced me to address my parenting inadequacies; I tend to ignore poor behaviors instead of addressing them at the moment.
Two of Peterson’s more controversial stances include the beliefs that gender is a biological construct, and social justice movements are misguided. His weak arguments for these claims provide faulty evidence; I will only do a disservice to you by trying to explain them to you in this post.
I attempted to share his ideas about gender with my wife, and she didn't buy them. It angered her to hear me try to sell his theories. You can look up an article or video of his for an adequate explanation of the controversy concerning Peterson and gender pronouns.
Regardless of the ups and downs on the psychological roller coaster, I rode while reading Peterson’s book, I am grateful that I started my year this way. Peterson's creative anecdotes and challenging perspectives stretched me as a thinker and writer. All of it has influenced the novel I am writing this year.
You must expand your worldview.
Social media algorithms dictate the profiles, articles, videos, and advertisements you see based on previous browsing experiences. These algorithms encourage us to spend more time online because we see more things that bring us joy. They sent me to Amazon for Peterson's book! Unfortunately, these platforms are also dangerous because they enforce a limited perspective of our vast world.
To develop our skills as empathetic leaders, we must open our minds, hearts, and ears to learn about alternative viewpoints. It can help us improve as individuals and make more meaningful contributions to our families and communities.
Listen, it's crucial to spend more time with the people and books that clarify your political and social stances. These actions can push and pull your life mission forward. On Tuesday, I started Roxane Gay's book, Bad Feminist, to counter some Peterson programming.
But hear me again, stretch your mental limbs in 2022. Read wide!
You will not regret learning from others along the journey to developing into one of the best possible versions of yourself. Share this post with one person who plans to read more books in the new year.