Friday, November 1, 2019

12 Rules for Life #12 Pat a Cat When You Encounter One on the Street (Summary)

This is a chapter-by-chapter summary of a book by Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018). One chapter, one article. Read this summary, buy the book. Enjoy!

“Set aside some time to talk and to think about the illness or other crisis and how it should be managed every day. Do not talk or think about it otherwise. If you do not limit its effect, you will become exhausted, and everything will spiral into the ground. This is not helpful. Conserve your strength. You’re in a war, not a battle, and a war is composed of many battles. You must stay functional through all of them. When worries associated with the crisis arise at other times, remind yourself that you will think them through, during the scheduled period”
(Jordan Peterson)

This final rule is mainly autobiographical and Peterson tells us about tragedy and pain. When tragic things are in front of us and we’re powerless, we must keep our eyes open for those little things that make life worthwhile. The title of this chapter inspired by the author’s experience of observing a local stray cat and watching it adapt to its surroundings in a harsh environment.

When you feel that your life is crewed up there is a way to make it easier to handle until you make it back on your feet. That is to shorten your “temporal horizon.” Stop thinking about what’s going to happen in the next months. Think about what and how you can improve today’s day or maybe just the next hours. Shrink the time frame until you can eventually handle the rest of it and this is how you adjust to devastation. It’s very important to not give up even in the worst situations, even if you’re at a place you’d rather not be, always try to look for what’s meaningful and worthwhile. “When you are going for a walk and your head is spinning a cat will show up and if you pay attention to it then you will get a reminder for just fifteen seconds that the wonder of Being might make up for the ineradicable suffering that accompanies it,” wrote Peterson, “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.”


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