Thoughts On Not Stepping On A Rake

November 9, 2019-

One of the greatest gifts imparted to me, by my parents, is knowing not to make the same mistake twice.  In his sixth Rule for Life, Jordan Peterson alludes to  a yard full of rakes, with a slapstick comic going about, stepping on one rake after another, and whacking himself about the head repeatedly.

My difficulty with repetition of mistakes has come more from failure to generalize, to apply lessons learned from one set of mistakes to similar, but anomalous, situations.

Dr. Peterson speaks quite a bit, in this segment, about resentment.  He goes through the points many of us know, as to how resentment eats away at the person who harbours it, unless he/she works through the feeling, and draws a self-improving lesson from the incident that led to the ill will.

I have learned, over the years, to work through the matter that caused me to resent a person or group.  Without exception, my path has always led to determining, through the type of soul-searching recommended by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, what I may have done that led to the incident, and how I might not open the door to similar mishaps in the future.

Proactivity can eliminate a good many misfortunes.  Avoiding self-aggrandizement can minimize resentment of those that do come our way.  I learned this, the hard way, by being Penny’s caretaker, and not, once, thinking that the whole thing was brought on by me.  Things I would better have done differently, came to mind and were fully processed.  This has only made me a better person.  Resentment of my lot, would not have done so.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts On Not Stepping On A Rake

  1. Being judgmental can be a two edged sword. As humans we make judgments from the moment we awake and until we slip into slumber. That ability to judge the right and wrong, dangerous and safe, hot and cold of any situation is a survival instinct that has kept us alive as individuals and as a species. Being self aware takes it to another level where the motivations for arriving at a particular judgment must be evaluated. I applaud you for having reached that level. Sadly not everyone is with you. Some, if not most, are still in survival mode. BTW I love the analogy of stepping on rakes! It is very apt!!

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  2. Good Sunday Traveler,
    I’ve read the book too. And got some sobriety under my belt. Resentments, they say, are the number one offender. We should try not to go there, if at all possible. I tend to keep my nose to the ground. keep my counsel to myself, unless asked for. In going about my life, I try to stay evenly keeled. I’ve learned, in as many years in the program, that my counterparts don’t necessarily follow the same path I do. They, rather, want to share unvarnished opinions and judgments with me, and you can be sure, i don’t solicit these words openly, vocally. If I stay out of my head, and just be good and do good, I can usually stay free of resentments. I’ve also learned that if I don’t place my expectations on people, I don’t get bothered by people. I stay out of people’s way. I do my service and leave it at that. If someone has something to say, I usually let them talk, ignore what they say, and I walk away. That is not always good, because recently, people have had a lot to say, unsolicitedly. It must be the season for unvarnished words of criticism. I don’t employ much of what I hear and see, so that keeps me out of trouble for the most part.

    Liked by 1 person

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