Jordan Peterson. For most people, that name will elicit one of 3 reactions. The first being one of extreme admiration. The second is maybe an extreme distaste for the man, and finally the third being absolutely no clue who this guy is at all (a much bigger number than you’d expect).
Over the years, as I discovered Peterson around 3 years ago, my opinions of the man have changed. No longer am I once clinging to his every word, treating him like someone who is, what it may feel like, “untouchable”. No, I’ve realized that he too is just a man, granted, a man who has been given opportunities none of us will ever remotely come close to matching.
And in his many years of living, he has read, taught, and discussed publicly many of the topics he continues to speak about today. And, he continues to challenge his own beliefs, thus making him a very, very hardened debater on top of him having what is undoubtedly a high IQ. With that all being said, it’s easy to see why many of us find Peterson to be this “untouchable” figure, in some regards, because that’s really how it is…many of us can’t match his level.
And over the past few years, my own curiosity has led me to read many of the books he so frequently quotes from with my thought process being that I must go to the source if I’m to understand fully what Peterson is talking about.
And the craziest thing happened….
After reading these books that Peterson has used to propel his own points forward and really “capture the audience”, some of which include works that of Dostoevsky, Carl Jung, and Nietzche (just to name a few), I’ve discovered 2 things.
The first being A) I, too, can read this “powerful wisdom” he speaks of, and it is not reserved for only a select few people.
And secondly B) Peterson got a few of the little details wrong in some of his retelling of stories.
Now, does this make me think the man a liar or a manipulator? Of course not. Though it makes me realize that Peterson is still only human.
Maybe his knowledge on every book he’s read is not as locked down as they once were when he first read them. For him, it’s been years, decades even, since he read the works of which he cites from, and in most cases, he cites them well, but he’s not perfect.
But like I’ve mentioned, I’ve stopped seeing him as some “prophetic like figure” some might have you believe (as well as I begin to wonder if Peterson believes this a little bit himself too?). No, I see him as a very smart man, doing some very good things, but also, like all of us, a flawed man. And that makes him human.
I would urge you if you have some fantasy idea of the man, as I had before, take some time to read some of the books he quotes from. I mean, he lists them all on his website.
Most importantly, don’t get too caught up with the idea that someone’s “perfect”, because, as cliche as this sounds…
“We’re all human, and we all have our own mistakes.”
Thanks for reading,