12 Rules for Life
Jordan Peterson
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 11

The theme of this rule is much more important than the title may sound. Peterson claims that while the physical act of skating is a reasonably dangerous, the danger that children desire is of greater concern. Children are able to turn these potentially dangerous games into experiences in which they can develop character and resilience. As we know from evolution, tough situations force individuals to adapt in a beneficial manner. Peterson alludes to this fact in the statement, “Men enforce a code of behaviour on each other when working together. Do you work? Pull your weight. Stay awake and pay attention. Don't whine or be touchy. Stand up for your friends. Don't suck up and don't snitch. Don't be a slave to stupid rules.” There is a sense in which Peterson is advising men to avoid choosing the ordinarily easy or soft things of life. It is only through this approach that the people are equipped with the right mentality for life.


The only way in which an individual can grow is through encountering dangerous situations where they can develop resiliency against the challenges of life. Many societal standards and codes of life demand people to have particular attitudes and personality. Without developing these attitudes and attributes, it can become incredibly difficult to meet the demands of the world. In a world that is defined by hierarchies, many individuals are pushed to strive for highly ranked positions and status in their society. However, those seeking these positions  must face a plethora of challenges in their pursuit to the top of the hierarchy. The ability to emerge unscathed from the chaos defines those at the top of the ladder.

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