Rule 9 / Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Peterson believes people need to talk to each other to think more clearly. By talking to others we better understand ourselves as well as one another. Healing may even come from two people telling the truth to each other. Peterson suggests if we are bored listening to someone, it’s probably a sign we aren’t listening well.

Peterson believes the purpose of memory is to avoid the past repeating itself. However, we don’t remember as well as we think we do. We don’t remember everything, we’re not objective and we have a vested interest in what we do remember. Our memories tell us that our current knowledge is insufficient to make our lives perfect or keep us safe. All this leads to the value of listening to others.

While Peterson’s logic is convincing, he doesn’t explain how one finds the continual motivation and the willpower to be a good listener.

Listening to one another fits with a Christian worldview of being caring, understanding and supportive. The advantage for Christians is that we have God’s help to enable us to be good listeners.

Click for: Peterson’s 8th Rule of Life