LOS ANGELES — There are perhaps few voices in today’s media landscape that engender as much fanfare as that of Jordan Peterson, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Toronto. After many of his lectures and interviews have gone viral online, Peterson has emerged as one of the most powerful defenders of free speech in the western world, while offering compelling counter-arguments to postmodernism’s many pitfalls.
In PragerU’s newest video, Fix Yourself, professor Peterson tackles today’s victim mentality by pointing out the futility of blaming others. Instead, professor Peterson highlights the effectiveness of taking personal responsibility for life’s problems.
Over his 30 years of experience as a clinical psychologist, Peterson discovered there really are two types of people: Those who blame the world for their problems, and those who ask what they can do differently. He suggests that only the latter has the ability to improve one’s life.
To illustrate, Peterson describes a married couple teetering on the brink of divorce. If the husband and wife focus solely on their frustrations toward each other, they are not likely to reconcile, suggest Peterson. “[This is] because other people aren’t the problem. You’re the problem. You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself,” says Peterson. “But it’s difficult. It’s much easier—and much more gratifying to your basest desires—to blame someone else for your misery.”
Peterson’s next example is a violent, youthful activist. By vandalizing a private business to protest “corrupt” capitalism, the activist hurts people who are not involved with the actual grievance. Drawing on years of clinical experience, Peterson explains that the activist turned vandal must inevitably suppress his or her feelings of guilt or doubt caused by committing the crime, which in turn only increases the individual’s anger and alienation.
Lasting change can only begin when people take ownership of their own flaws and failures. People cannot change the nature of the world, but they can improve their lives by changing themselves. The process begins with small steps and an attitude of humility.
Peterson suggests small improvements, such as listening to people, getting to work on time and making peace in relationships, will improve a person’s quality of life and increase productivity. After time is spent in this concentrated effort, the mind clears and personal confidence increases. Right and wrong become more evident and relationships begin to heal.
“The proper way to fix the world isn’t to fix the world. There’s no reason to assume that you’re even up to such a task,” concludes Peterson. “But you can fix yourself. You’ll do no one any harm by doing so.”
“And in that manner, at least, you will make the world a better place.”
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PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2017 alone, PragerU’s videos have received over 625 million views and over 60 percent of the viewers are under the age of 35. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.