Dr. Jordan Peterson says “The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.”
That statement is like a slap in the face to any wandering millennial, aimlessly searching for purpose. When they are not immersed in escapism that is. It’s no wonder Dr. Jordan Peterson is as popular as he is. He provides purpose to those who have none. It feels so good being able to wake up every morning knowing what your main mission is; to be a better person than who you were yesterday. To not be afraid of adversity but instead turn towards it and CHARGE!
These teaching are great for that aimless millennial. But what about the rest of us? The ones with responsibility who already have a sense of purpose? I doubt that “finding the biggest burden we can bear” is the most sound decision for those towing the line between feeding the family and total utter disaster. Is the rest of our days relegated to toiling under the thumb of responsibility? Or is it charging adversity, taking the risks and possibly losing everything? Of course there is more nuance but this dichotomy is the gist of the decision I am facing at the moment. Is it too much to assume others out there are experiencing the same?
“8 out of 10 Americans live paycheck to paycheck“
To clarify, I am talking about the 8 out of 10 Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-living-paycheck-to-paycheck/). The ones whose paychecks have been stretched to the limit by taxes and compelled purchases such as car insurance, registration fees, union dues etc… and to make matters worse, many of these people grew up in single parent households which is a nightmare unto itself. “The average drop in income for white children whose parents separate during the child’s adolescence is about $22,000 (in 1992 dollars) — a loss of 40 percent.” https://prospect.org/article/consequences-single-motherhood
That’s not all! No public school has personal finance as a part of its curriculum. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that most kids in the public school system are not proficient in mathematics by the time they graduate high school. And that fact is made EVEN WORSE if the child is from a single parent household.
Coming back to Dr. Peterson’s quote about suffering, I disagree. That quote is not for me. It would have been if I was coming straight out of high school with nothing to lose. However, I am a family man. I make just enough to provide for my family. If disaster happens I will not be able to afford to make that disaster go away.
Choose Your Path
I am choosing to toil. I understand that due to the choices of my parents my potential was perhaps hindered. I will not make those same mistakes. I will choose to toil and I will choose not to see it as oppressive or unfortunate because I am better than them and I learned from their mistakes. I will choose the safe option to metaphorically hit the reset button and allow my children the best opportunities with nothing holding them back. So, in a way, my parents weren’t worthless after all.
Thanks for sticking around this long.
I know this post was a little disjointed. Kind of all over the place. But that is what it is like in my mind sometimes. My daughter is asking me to hold her while I was writing this. She’s in a hospital bed waiting for a new heart to appear. She looks so pitiful and weak laying there barely having the strength to talk. I weep inside every time I look at her, but I can’t let her see it. I can’t let her feel like this isn’t normal. In the end this will only make her stronger. Im thinking maybe Dr. Peterson’s philosophy applies to her as well.
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