12 rules for life, by Jordan Peterson

I am listening to this book on Audible now and it is getting increasingly irritating.

I have not finished yet-only about 50% of the way through-but there are two major problems:

  • Mr Peterson’s high pitched voice, which sounds whiney after a short period and
  • the degree to which God, religion etc. has influenced Peterson’s 12 rules for life.

What if you are an atheist? What then? This book would be an even harder swallow. Anyway, the 12 rules are

  • stand up straight with your shoulders back
  • treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  • befriend people who want the best for you
  • compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not someone else today
  • do not let children do things that would make you dislike them
  • set your own house in order before you criticise the world
  • tell the truth, or at least don’t lie
  • pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient
  • assume the person you are speaking to knows something that you don’t
  • be precise in your speech
  • do not bother children while they are skateboarding
  • pet a cat when you meet one in the street

I have finished the audiobook now and it was hard going.

The combination of Peterson’s high pitched, whiney voice and his unceasing reference to the bible and the gospels made it a combination that grated on the ear and mind in no time.

And to make matters worse when he is particularly exercised by a particular concept or point his voice raises even higher.

Moreover, it feels like Peterson had 5 or 6 ‘rules for life’ but his publisher insisted on 10 or 12 so the last 5 or so rules come across as a tad contrived and made up. For example, pet a cat when you meet on in the street.

And to make matters worse at the end of the book there is a promotional piece for another of Peterson’s books, entitled “12 more rules for life”.

There is a sense, too, of this book not just being founded on principles of clinical psychology but on a political/social construct of the world and society.

If you are an atheist or agnostic you may have a hard time swallowing the frequent biblical quotes and reference to God.

On balance, however, I would recommend it as a book whose ideas are worth exposing yourself to even if you do not adopt all 12 in your daily life or Peterson’s world view of how men should be strong, what strong even means etc.

If I was to listen to any other audiobooks of Peterson’s I think I would be checking who was narrating first. For I do not believe Peterson has a voice for audiobook narration.

If you think this 12 rules of life might be something you might be interested in you can check it out on Amazon here.

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