There is a Canadian psychology professor who I occasionally listen to. Mostly, when I need a kick in the pants. His name is Jordan Peterson. If you haven't heard of him, it's probably because you are a liberal like me. Mr. Peterson has gotten a lot of flack for some of his opinions appearing to fit in a right leaning box. I don't really want to get into that, or what I appreciate about him, in this blog. What I want to talk about is why I HAVEN'T talked about him.
I am as liberal as they come for all intents and purposes. I believe in equality for all humans. I am for animal rights. I know global warming is real and I buy all organic. I have always felt that us liberals are the open minded ones. The ones who can listen and control their emotions. I have always thought that us on the left were.. you know, the more enlightened population. Maybe that is part of the problem.
Over the last year, as more and more of us have become politically aware and active, I have noticed some things. It's these things that have kept me silent when something that makes sense to me, doesn't fit in the liberal box. I have noticed that us liberals are guilty of some seriously closed minded and unbalanced behavior when it comes to discussing current issues online. It seems that we have unwittingly fallen into the trap of ideological lockdown. I am sure it started innocently enough. We all have common ideals that are built on equality, compassion and harmony. We have built a picture of what is right and wrong based on that and cling to it, rightly so, in times of chaos. Desperate to be on the humanitarian side of history, I have witnessed and been a part of some vicious defense of the liberal ideology. To what end? I have seen old friends on the same side, fight over semantics. I have seen people quick to judge anyone who even looks like they could be conservative, effectively shutting down all respectful discourse. I think this is a real problem. If we want what we say we want, equality and healing for humanity, then we have to toughen up and get out of the echo chamber.
I resonate with a lot of what professor Jordan Peterson says. I also think he is kind of a dick and off base in some regards. However, my discernment tells me that the value he provides far outweighs where he falls short. At least for me. I am afraid to admit that I agree with someone who most of my friends probably hate. I am afraid to speak about what is resonant for me in his beliefs because the box he is in will in turn, cause others to put me in a different box. This is a damn shame. How are we to continue to grow and learn if we don't try on new ideas, talk about them and keep pushing out of our comfort zones? I find it really alarming that those of us that are supposed to be the ones with the most open minds and intellect can't seem to break free from our set in stone ideas. Now, to be clear... lets not go to extremes. I am not saying "We should be more open minded about nazi's!"... Hell no, f those guys. I am talking about taking a pause and looking closer before we are so quick to judge, blame and pigeon hole people. I am saying that we could all use a little more deep breathing, pausing to think before we speak, respectful dialogue and open minded investigation.
I am attaching two videos below. One is a man by the name of Theo E.J. Wilson. He exemplifies open mindedness, courage and curiosity for me. I am going to try and be more like him ;) Amazing video and amazing dude. The next one is a top 10 of Jordan Peterson Lectures. Make some tea, get a pen and paper and crack open your heart. I am curious what you think!
As always, we are all in this together!