My topic this time has more than ONE word! But as I always say, “If I make the rules, I can break the rules”! Now and again I will have a topic with ONE word, but for now I might leave it behind for a while. If you are familiar with “12 Rules for Living” the name Jordan Peterson will mean something to you. Jordan is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. I have listened to one of his interviews and he is a very commanding speaker. Right now, Jordan is on his “12 Rules for Life” speaking tour across Australia.
I can’t make his next speaking engagement in Brisbane, 28th February 2019. If I could I would go along to hear what he has to say and his thoughts about life, the psychology of religion, mythology and much more! He does not believe in God but believes there are lessons in the Biblical stories found in the Bible. He uses these in his talks to help himself and others understand the purpose and meaning of life!
There may be a few of us left in this world who want to understand more about life’s purpose and meaning. I’m putting my hand up first!
Jordan is a psychologist, I am a social worker. The disciplines are closely related in many ways.
Let’s take his 12 Rules for Living:
- Stand up straight with your shoulders back
- Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
- Make friends with people who want the best for you
- Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
- Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
- Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
- Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
- Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
- Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
- Be precise in your speech
- Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
- Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
Let’s take my 10 Rules for Living. The last two of his rules for me, are redundant! I have my own rules for living that I will share at another time. But for now these are my modifications of Jordan’s rules.
- Stand tall and be proud of YOU and your achievements
- Be kind to self, then be kind to others
- Be the friend that everyone wants, but first be your own best friend
- Don’t compare yourself to others, be your only comparison
- Let your children be a free spirit and love them in all their triumps and failures
- Get on with your life and let others live theirs, without commentary
- Follow your passions, not others. Discover what YOU love
- Be honest with everyone, especially with those YOU love
- Invest in life-long learning. Be prepared to learn something new every day
- Speak, but listen first. We have two ears and one mouth!
Why did I say the last two of Jordan’s 12 Rules for Living are redundant? Here is why.
- Rules 11 – Jordan explains this as a lesson on masculinity. It is a rule mostly for “boys” – facing the danger and mastering it! The difference between weakness and goodnesss.
- Rules 12 – this is the most ridiculous rule (RR), that is, “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street”.
I will tell you why you should not pet a cat that is on the street, in your neighbourhood.
It was Christmas Eve 2018. A beautiful still evening, stars shining bright in Toowoomba. My One & Only (O&O) had gone to bed early after a busy day. It was 8pm. I decided to go outside, we live in a gated estate (not a retirement village) and it is quiet, no cars around, to photograph our garden with coloured flood lights.
While I was doing this a cat meandered up to me meowing. Not usually prone to patting stray cats I initially walked away from it and went inside quickly via the garage door. Next thing the cat is meowing at my front door! As it was Christmas Eve, I had the spirit of “goodwill”. Firstly, I took a photo, through our security door, and sent a text to my neighbour, a cat lover, across our private road to ask her if she recognised the cat? The answer was “No”. The cat kept meowing and I felt sorry for the poor wee cat. I saw it had a tag around its neck. In the process of petting the cat and trying to read its tag it went ferrel and scratched me, badly!
My neighbour did not hear of my tale until late the next day. In the meantime, she and her husband felt sorry for the poor wee cat and gave it some cat food. When getting the owner’s information from the tag there were a few more scratches for them, but not as bad as mine!
As my O&O had gone to bed, I did not worry him as I held my hand dripping with blood all over our front door entrance tiles. I knew what he would say – “Don’t pet a cat when you encounter one on the street”! Stupidity!
It is Christmas morning and the owners of the stray cat came to pick it up from our neighbour across the road. Happy Christmas!
Interesting days ahead for me managing Christmas cooking with a bandaged finger!
So, Mr Jordan Peterson, maybe it is time to rethink your 12th rule for living. I am not petting any cats, any more, at any time! P.S. There are no doctor’s available Christmas day (Tuesday 25th). I could have gone to the hospital, but how much fun would that have been, waiting for hours on end. In the end, I did some serious antiseptic bathing of the wound. The earliest I could get to see a doctor at my usual practice was Friday 28th. My doctoring effort of my wound was noted by the doctor! The finger tissue took the longest to heal and my finger remained swollen for a while. The doctor gave me a tetanus injection as a backup. Rule 12 – redundant!
P.S.S. There is a glitch with my numbering….still working on it!