My Review of “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson

Amrit Hallan
3 min readMay 26, 2023

A Thought-Provoking Journey

I bought “12 Rules for Life” with the hope that it would offer guidance to my 17-year-old daughter during her formative years. However, it appears to be a weighty read for a young person who often needs encouragement to pick up a book and take a break from her mobile phone. As a result, the book remained untouched on my reading table for months.

As someone who had grown weary of reading marketing and copywriting books, I yearned for a thought-provoking read that could offer intellectual stimulation and a fresh perspective.

Enter “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson — a book that promised to provide guidance on navigating the complexities of existence. While the book did deliver on some fronts, recent comments made by Peterson regarding Hinduism, particularly his insensitive remarks about Ma Kali, left me questioning the depth of his knowledge and the validity of his insights.

“12 Rules for Life” sets out to provide a framework for leading a meaningful life, drawing on a combination of psychological insights, philosophical ideas, and personal anecdotes.

Peterson’s writing style is engaging, and he tackles a wide range of topics such as personal responsibility, the significance of mythology, the balance between order and chaos, and the pursuit of truth. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific rule, allowing readers to explore various facets of life and reflect upon their own experiences.

I must admit that the book succeeded in challenging my preconceptions and provoking introspection. Peterson’s exploration of the human psyche and the impact of our choices resonated with me, offering valuable perspectives on how to navigate the often chaotic world we live in. His emphasis on personal responsibility and the importance of finding meaning in one’s life can be empowering for those seeking guidance.

In the book “12 Rules for Life” the subject of dealing with pain is addressed, particularly in relation to the author’s daughter who suffers from arthritis. Peterson delves into the concept of pain as an inevitable part of life and emphasizes the importance of confronting it with resilience and responsibility.

Drawing from his personal experiences, he shares the struggles his daughter faces with her condition, highlighting the physical and emotional toll it takes. Through this poignant example, Peterson explores the necessity of accepting pain as an inherent aspect of existence, while also encouraging individuals to find ways to alleviate suffering and work towards personal growth. By examining his daughter’s battle with arthritis, he ultimately aims to provide readers with insights and strategies for navigating their own pain and adversity, fostering resilience and meaning in the face of life’s challenges.

However, the recent comments made by Peterson about Hinduism have left a sour taste in my mouth. His disrespectful remarks about Ma Kali, a revered goddess in Hindu mythology, indicate a lack of understanding and empathy towards a religion that is deeply cherished by millions of people. It raises questions about the extent of his research and the validity of his insights when discussing religious and cultural matters.

While “12 Rules for Life” provides a compelling framework for self-improvement and contemplation, it is essential to approach the book with a critical eye. Peterson’s ideas should be evaluated on their own merits, considering the breadth and depth of his knowledge. It is disappointing to see a respected intellectual make insensitive comments that undermine the potential value of his work.

In conclusion, “12 Rules for Life” offers an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of personal responsibility, meaning, and the human condition.

However, it is important to recognize that the recent comments made by Jordan Peterson about Hinduism and Ma Kali indicate a lack of depth in his understanding of certain cultural and religious traditions. Approach this book with an open mind, but also be aware of the limitations that arise from the author’s shortcomings in certain areas.



Amrit Hallan

I don’t care much about being politically correct. Things are just right or wrong and yes, sometimes there are grey areas in this is why we write, don’t we?