Dr. Jordan Peterson is a polarizing presence. Ironically, I was introduced to his work through a video in which protestors were maniacally expressing their opposition to his message,( or at least their opposition to their interpretation of his message). I had to find out what this man had done to incite such a riot. After watching a few of his youtube videos, I was confused as to why anyone would be angered, and discovered that much of what Jordan Peterson said actually resonated with me.
In “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos”, Dr. P encourages readers to take inventory of themselves with empathy and accountability. He speaks of living proactively, and seeking meaning without becoming untethered from reality. His delivery can be quite intellectual and long winded. However, in true psychoanalytic nature, the good doctor’s message uses stories, archetypes, and case studies to paint deep, rich, and colorful explanations for the ideals he advises readers to embrace.
While I believe this book belongs on a shelf in every home, it was not a particularly easy read. Dr. Peterson’s high intellect combined with his, at times, pointed messages can be overwhelming.
My recommendation: Chip away at “12 Rules” at a pace where you’re able to thoughtfully apply those rules you’ve chosen to explore. Read it more than once, then take inventory of its effect on your existence. “12 Rules” will likely not replace therapy or work overnight (One of the rules states we should seek meaning rather than expediency). I imagine though, many readers will find this book highly therapeutic in its own right.