I just came across this video from an interview that Jordan Peterson gave last year during his tour of Australia. This interview shows us something we don’t often see, for it gives a glimpse of Jordan Peterson as a very human figure, a man clearly tired out by his new responsibilities (something he tried to downplay) and overwhelmed, almost to the point of tears, by how many young men he has been able to save by just a little encouragement.
There were two very hard lessons that the twentieth-century brutally taught us: (1) fascism is bad (2) communism is bad. We’ve learn the first lesson, which is why self-proclaimed fascists get in trouble. Yet millions of deaths were not enough to teach us the second lesson. Self-proclaimed communists can still find acceptance within the mainstream. Jordan Peterson discusses this in the video below, suggesting that we have only learned one half of the lesson the twentieth-century could have taught us.
Few virtues are as misunderstood today as the virtue of courage.
Courage is the act of choosing to press ahead in full knowledge that there may be danger ahead. It is this awareness of danger that differentiates genuine courage from mere naivete. A naive person may appear courageous simply because he underestimates the threat he is facing, like the fool in Proverbs 14:16 who “rages and is self-confident.”
But just as courage should not be confused with naivete, it should also not be confused with mere bravado. A person who overestimates his natural strength may appear brave in the face of threats, like the fool in Proverbs 27:12 who refuses to take refuge in the face of danger. Having an unrealistic perception of one’s own natural strength absolves one from needing to practice courage since it minimizes the reality of the danger one is actually facing. Only a weak person can have courage in the face of danger, for courage can only exist when there is the possibility of harm, hurt or failure.