Each One, Let The Other One Live

November 22, 2019-

I am reading the updated version of a young adult novel, “Abbie Wize: AWAKE”.   It is the story of a misunderstood, isolated and battered young girl, who experiences a unique spiritual awakening.  Her main nemesis is her own mother, who appears at this point in the novel as a brutal and controlling menace.

Jordan Peterson’s Rule 10 is ” Don’t Knock A Teenager Off A Skateboard”.  Basically, our task as members of society is to not be so up in other people’s business, that we quash their legitimate joys, experiences and efforts.     This is even true, to an extent, of parents, so long as a child is not harming self or others.

I tend to concur with that sentiment.  My own parents were not brutes and I can count on one hand the number of times I was physically chastised, as a child and teen.  I was not too different, as a father, in that respect.

As adults, many tend to think it is within their boundaries to prescribe to others, exactly how they should be handling their business.  There is a story about an old man, a young boy and a donkey.  As they went on their journey to a town that was ten kilometers away, the old man walked, while the boy rode the donkey.  Some objected, saying the robust boy should let his elder ride.  They switched places and kept going.  Others appeared, berating the old man for making such a small child walk.  The boy joined the old man, riding the donkey.  Animal rights activists chided the pair, for putting the poor donkey under such a strain.  The man and boy decided the activists were right, and began carrying the donkey!  A group of rowdy men gathered, and began mocking the two, for being so stupid as to carry an animal.  The old man and the boy decided to take turns riding the donkey, and so they went the rest of the way in peace.

Dr. Peterson’s point here is not that we should be apathetic towards our fellows, but that we should adopt a posture of seeing each other as they see themselves, and taking steps to encourage right behaviour-rather than aiming our arrows solely at what is being done wrong.

This, combined with his earlier point about listening to one’s critics, calls for a balance in our interactions with one another.  I have learned to measure my criticism carefully, as well as to sift my own naysayers’ words, with a view towards continuous self-improvement.


4 thoughts on “Each One, Let The Other One Live

  1. Hi Traveler …

    I posted a Jordan talk just now about “Looking where you least want to.” I’m in this place, where people critical of me, for their own reasons, like you know as well, have sent me into a tail spin. I don’t like conflict or speaking my mind to individuals, per se. But I sure as shit can speak my mind in a meeting full of people who have nothing to do with the nastiness in my head.

    It was pointed out to me last night, by a good friend that, I should refrain from speaking angrily in locations where people in those locations have nothing to do with the anger I am feeling, as in, they had no part in causing said anger. It sends the wrong message to the wrong people, who are innocent. And might leave and not return.

    He told me that maybe I need to confront, one on one, those folks who have caused me grief and say, “fuck off.” To stand up to people who have nothing better to do than judge and criticize me in public, because they can, and not because I asked them for a critique of my attire or accessories I wear along with it.

    Jordan talks, in the piece I just posted about people who shy away from conflict because it is scary and wrong. But if we don’t learn to stand up for ourselves, we will always take what is thrown at us from any direction it comes from.

    It seems that people need something to talk about. Someone to critique because they think they can get away with it, due to the mere fact that they are sober, and have license to be assholes, without prodding from the subject they are critiquing. And I walk away from these people, rather than asking them to just shut up already, leave me alone. Go find someone else who will take their shit.

    I know that if i spoke to people, the way some people have spoken to me, I would have been drum out of one particular meeting on my ass, without a word. But I keep my mouth shut. I don’t make waves, and I allow assholes to be assholes, I’ll just walk away. But then I will ruminate and get angry and shoot my mouth off in other places about the fortune I am sitting in, instead of going back and speaking honestly and forcefully that, No I’m not taking your shit, so shut up and leave me alone, already.

    First World Problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The old Staples Singers song comes to mind: “Respect Yourself”. Jordan’s tough love is logical and supremely useful, whereas the verbal splatter that some people give out is primarily meant to take attention off of themselves.


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