In Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, he breaks down the reason why many get bullied at a young age, surprisingly it’s not because the victim had done anything to deserve it or because the bully found some sense of justice in their belittling. The reason, Peterson states, is often because they are unwilling to fight back.
The emotional and physical posture of a person may have some effect on being bullied initially but it’s the continual pushing of the bully that exposes an unwillingness to stand up for themselves.
Recent years in Australia and around the world have shed light on a similar relationship between the state/ federal governments and the governed.
An increase of power to elected and un-elected officials has created a disproportionate gap between personal responsibility of a citizen and sovereignty of leadership over the people. The vaccination mandates in Australia were imposed on the population under the guise of countering the health threats of COVID, but has now exposed a side-effect of sole reliance on the government for health and safety and an abdication of personal responsibility on the people.
The people are no longer trusted with their own health decisions and the onus defaults to the government as a sole protector. But protection is not what has happened.
If the people of Australia had a posture that was visible to the government, it would be the frame of someone slouched over, chin tucked into their chest and unwilling to fight back.
The thing is posture is a great determinant of your situation and where you’re headed, and it speaks volumes to a bully who is looking for a victim. Jordan Peterson characterises this using the example of lobsters.
Which lobster are you?
Lobsters’ brain chemistry works in a similar way to humans when it comes to victory and defeat according to Peterson. When a lobster comes across another lobster, it immediately sizes its opponent up, looking at strength, health, size, mood and posture before engaging. The lobsters who have won many lobster fights before have a tall posture both physically and mentally, they’re not the one to back down from a fight before its begun.
On the other hand, a lobster who is new to the whole ‘standing up for yourself thing’ or has experienced defeat before, will often wear that defeat through their slouched posture and will most likely back down from a fight.
The point that Jordan Peterson is making here is that your posture towards life and its events has a massive impact on the outcome of those events. It doesn’t take long before a lobster identifies who is vulnerable and who should be left alone. The same principle applies to humans on who can be bullied whether in school, in the workplace, or by your own government, your posture determines your vulnerability or your strength.
‘Stand up straight with your shoulders rolled back’
If you’ve seen your posture as someone to be trampled, oppressed or even a loser in the past by no cause of your own, Peterson encourages that you can’t remain that way. You can’t remain a victim of circumstance or hurt and to counter these feelings; recognise your bad habits of thought and correct them.
Likewise, the posture of a nation determines its acceptance of bullying by another nation or their own government. The only way to destabilise power is to sacrifice your own comfort in favour of your future and the potential benefits that will come of it.
Peterson’s fascination with good and evil, chaos and order, Jesus and sin, points to the chaos that comes from acquiescence and laziness most of all when he states, “Satan embodies the refusal of sacrifice; he is arrogance, incarnate; spite, deceit, and cruel, conscious malevolence.”
Sacrifice your convenience. The convenience of slouching instead of standing up straight and rolling your shoulders back. The convenience of political acquiescence and ignorance in the face of injustice and tyranny. The convenience of checking your phone first thing in the morning instead of reading your Bible.
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html