Chapter Six Analysis – 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Set your house in order before you criticize the world.

Whenever we experience injustice, real or imagined; whenever we encounter tragedy or fall prey to the machinations of others; whenever we experience the horror and pain of our own apparently arbitrary limitations – the temptation to question Being and then to curse it rises foully from the darkness.
(p. 148)

How could bad things happen to good people? It’s simple. Life is tragedy. Life is suffering. That’s just the naked, true injustice of it all. But here’s the thing: once you accept that, life actually gets just a little easier.

When something bad or tragic happens and we experience an existential crisis, there are only two ways out of it. You either get mad and take revenge on anyone who wronged you in the past (including yourself), or you disassemble yourself and build again. You transform.

As a matter of plain fact, vengeance takes the form of violence in these cases. Those with an existential crisis that choose anger can often become mass murderers, serial killers or even commit suicide themselves. After all, they’ve begun to question Being and either everyone else is stupid or they are.

Has anyone ever said to you, “I wanted to hurt you like you hurt me?” Even if no one ever has uttered that phrase to you, you’ve probably felt it about someone else. Anger is an easy emotion to turn to, as stated in a previous post. Anger is an easy emotion to keep moving. It feeds off itself, snowballing until you’re seething with rage. It’s not pretty.

Source: Vera Arsic

When you’re angry, your mind is cluttered and unclear. Your motives are suspect. You’re not thinking clearly at all. You must clear the clutter from your head and your home before you can criticize other people.

I hope you enjoy my analyses so far. Every Wednesday, I’ll have a new chapter of the book available for review. If you’d like to suggest any books for me to read, let me know in the comments.

Also, check out my YouTube channel for the video versions of these posts!


Peterson, J.B. (2018). 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos. Canada: Penguin Random House.

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