"12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan B. Peterson (2018)
“Maybe your misery is the weapon you brandish in your hatred for those who rose upward while you waited and sank. Maybe your misery is your attempt to prove the world’s injustice, instead of the evidence of your own sin, your own missing the mark, your conscious refusal to strive and to live. Maybe your willingness to suffer in failure is inexhaustible, given what you use that suffering to prove. Maybe it’s your revenge on Being … Succes: that’s the mystery. Virtue: that’s what’s inexplicable. To fail, you merely have to cultivate a few bad habits. You just have to bide your time.”
I have little reluctance of giving the works of Dr. Peterson my utmost recommendation. Since this once university professor gathered attention in September 2016 when he opposed the Canadian Human Rights Act “Bill C-16”, Dr. Petersons fame has detonated with a force that is rarely seen in academia. His classroom is no longer limited to Toronto, he teaches the world.
And what he teaches could hardly be more profound, it is not self-help, it is self-development. As Jung did before him, Dr. Peterson reminds us that a true moral effort is what determines the quality individual. Finally, we are having a conversation about responsibility, one that has been far overdue.
Instead of preaching about an overdue utopia, or trying to trick people into ignoring the suffering of the world, he embraces it and tries to relieve it. The world is cruel, but we might be able to establish a meaning that justifies it. This requires being alert, paying attention, telling the truth and trying to leave the world off incrementally better than when you entered it.
My only criticism is that if you are familiar with most of Dr. Petersons online lectures, “12 rules of life” does not have a lot of new ideas to offer - although I personally find it nice to become more intimate with the intricacies of his abstractions by seeing them written out.
This book stands a commandment to realizing your potential, putting action over thought and attention over reason. A brilliant writer and the most brilliant corpus of philosophical pondering.