Authentic REAL discipline is a very personal and internal process, arguably in tune with the path of dissolution, culminating in enlightenment. The development of self-control in human beings happens in childhood through the kid’s independent interaction with the world around them. When people talk about “disciplining” kids it’s as an outsider coming in and hurting another person to punish them into doing something. This is so profoundly damaging, and most of all it is damaging to the kid’s inner sense of self-control and discipline.
They become more dependent on extrinsic motivators and less autonomous, less empowered to make their own choices. They devalue themselves, become ashamed when making mistakes, and sabotage their own potential. External discipline is toxic, evil, and tragic, nothing but a word to cover up abuse.
The way punishment such as spanking can damage a person can be hard to recognize in your personal life, especially if you’re older looking back on your younger self.
There are many parts of reality that are harder to deal with if you have been routinely punished and abused, and it changes your whole framework for how you react and interact with yourself. This isn’t just getting the fish to see the fishbowl, it’s asking the fish to build a fishbowl.
There’s two options here. You can observe your own reactions and pay attention to what happens. Do you make independent choices or are you dependent on bullying and forcing yourself into “making the right choice” ? Do you rely on extrinsic motivators and cheap rewards or are you seeking more longterm pursuits, intrinsically motivated? Do you go to work, or do you go to play? These are some of the comparisons.
But the other option is to look at the research and look at how people are affected by punishment such as spanking. It’s universally damaging and unnecessary. There’s an astounding magnitude of research and historical discovery over thousands of years on childhood trauma and how that impacts our relationships with kids as adults. It’s one of the hardest things to really understand.
I’ve come to discover an archetypal root that explains the difference between liberated, peaceful people and corrupt authoritarians. The root is self-determination. The start of self-determination is autonomy, so the individual must claim his autonomy and aim to grow his strength in acting on it. And others must respect his autonomy- making requests instead of demands, using conflict mediation instead of punishment, etc.
Self-determination involves 3 needs:
Autonomy – the agency to make decisions and own your life;
Interconnection – healthy supportive relationships; and
Competence – the skill and strength to do something really well.
All three of these mixed together creates liberation that many people can’t even comprehend, and even some of the few who have achieved it go around talking about parts of their journey that completely ignore self-determination, showing they are oblivious to it.
The real vicious truth here is that when a person lacks autonomy, and especially if they have been traumatized or damaged, they will strive for control to make up for the loss. It’s like trying to steal the autonomy of others, but many wannabe dictators don’t even realize this is the result of their actions. They just get blinded by the stress and trauma pushing them to try and make their environment clean, predictable, and in their power. It doesn’t work. Becoming intrinsically autonomous, self-determined, and skillful will give you the sense of liberation and inner peace to come to terms with the world around you, as it is.
Fiat (n): “An arbitrary or authoritative command to do something; an effectual decree.”
“Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material from which the money is made.” – Investopedia
Here’s something amazing from the Conflict Resolution Center I now volunteer with:
“Conflict is often negatively attributed to adolescent development. The common belief is that the teenage brain is to blame. But the truth is, conflict is natural and inevitable and is neither positive nor negative; it is just a fact of human relationships across all age groups.”
– Conflict Resolution Center (Minneapolis)
It’s so profound to hear this, so casually and put simply, found unexpectedly. The countless times adolescents and kids are degraded and shocking levels of abuse justified through the mythical idea that the teen and child brain(s) are somehow inferior. Yes, it takes time to develop competence and skill. Incompetence and simplicity are NEVER excuses or sensible reasons for abuse. Most people have better standards for animals than youth in this regard.
It’s also extremely important to recognize how much a kid or teen’s development is shockingly hindered and damaged by abuse. So ironically the problem causing so much trauma and conflict – abuse and deprivation of self-determination – is suggested as the solution. ALL human beings regardless of age need (a) autonomy, (b) competence, and (c) interconnection. If one factor is missing, this drastically inhibits the other factors.
If you want to see a young person become more (b) competent, (c) support that is (a) respectful to their choices is the balancing key. If you really can’t have a (c) healthy relationship, the best thing to do is (a) nothing at all; leave them alone. Sometimes doing nothing is a noble and profound non-act.
If you dare to do nothing, to interrupt the ancient cycle of suffering and abuse, I will dare to do nothing with you. And we will be contributing peace by refusing to participate in the problem.
I’m serious about this, totally dedicated. I’m not sure what it would look like, but doing nothing seems easy enough? Especially when you have a Nothing Buddy to do it together. Contact me if you need someone to do nothing with together- email@example.com
This article corresponds with the video but is not a verbatim transcript. For timestamps see the time [0:00] at the top of each section throughout the article. Resources are linked chronologically throughout the piece. Additional resources not mentioned in the video are included chronologically and a full list is at the bottom. Continue reading “Jordan B. Peterson Doesn’t Understand Childhood Suffering”
UPDATE 2/2/19: We are expanding this guide series to other booklets for self-determination relating to different topics. The newest guidebook in process is a Trauma Care reference for crisis and prevention. Other future guides include economic empowerment, autonomy, competence, and interconnection. The series will be released as the Intrinsic Abundance Series with contributions from more people based on specialty and skill.
If you are a teenager dreaming of independence and the freedom to lead your life, this simple guide may be of help. This is as much a practical guide as it is a celebration of the human will for autonomy.
Even though you are young, you have all your human rights. You deserve freedom, and with unrelenting willpower, you have the chance at empowerment. You could be a pioneer in adolescent autonomy, if you step up to the challenge.
This booklet is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution. The most current publication is attributed to Nemo Sundry.