Dragons, Monsters, and Men: Episode 1 Review

Luke Rexing, Contributor

Over the summer, I spent a lot of time working on myself both physically and mentally. It was nice to be out of the demanding routines of the school year, and onto a new schedule that was built more for personal enjoyment. I had an internship at Hubbard Broadcasting, and was getting to the gym about 4-5 times a week. This is something that I normally struggled with, but with the help from a now popular influencer, I was able to change my mindset regarding difficult tasks. 

Jordan B. Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, who has spent much of his time over the last few years being the target of many academics, and evasive prey of legacy media. He now posts frequently on YouTube, both including his past lectures as a Harvard professor, and newer takes on the ideologies that those with distant left ideologies are proposing to younger generations. 

I have been a big fan of his since the beginning of summer when I found him on YouTube, and further continued listening to his podcast – The Jordan B. Peterson podcast. He is also an author with three titles, two of which I have read: “12 Rules For Life”, “An Antidote to Chaos”, and “Beyond Order”, “12 More Rules For Life.” I have recommended his content to many people, including my parents and my peers. His content creation has not stopped, and he has recently partnered with the Daily Wire, with a short lecture series titled “Dragons, Monsters, and Men.”

This article is an introduction to my experience with Jordan, and a review of the first episode: What Makes a Man? I plan to write more about Peterson, about what he has done for me, as well as reviews of the rest of the Daily Wire series. So, what makes a man?

The short answer according to Jordan; productive responsibility and productive generosity. 

The word productive is intentionally used here, as you must always have an aim. There must always be an orientation that is guiding you towards new dragons to fight. I like how he uses the metaphor of dragons for the immensely difficult challenges that life throws at us. Everyone is fighting something, as life is much harder than death. Nobody can tell you without smiling through their teeth that life is easy. I’ll write more on dragons throughout this review series. So what is it about responsibility? One must be responsible for their life. It is not only about having responsibility, as that is somewhat of a given when blessed with the opportunity to live, but also about facing that responsibility head-on. No matter how small an endeavor, the only way to best complete it is by putting forth your best effort. This is easier said than done, as nobody is perfect and oftentimes a best effort may not feel like enough. However, this does not mean that there are better alternatives. The more responsibility you can face, the more dragons you are able to conquer, the more you can build up courage to face the world, and the more you can help others do the same. This leads us to productive generosity.

One part in the episode that I found particularly humorous was when he said something along the lines of “people who typically have a generous temperament are generally not generous with money and resources of their own”. In order to be more complete, you must have both. This is why responsibility is necessary to confront. One is able to be generous and give back to their family and community when they have the resources to do so. You must also be generous to the community of you’s. This is a concept that Jordan introduced me to while I was spiraling down the YouTube rabbit hole. Essentially, you, or I, or anyone else, is not simply just you now. You are a community of selves, including your past self at any point in time, and you are also going to be your future selves. I think this deconstruction of a single life into a community of lives is an astounding way to look within, as you must reflect on this idea when you realize you may be giving into instant gratification. I realize that this is not achievable one hundred percent of the time, but being able to use the concept to help yourself is what leads to being able to help other people. You must be productive before you help others do the same. 

These two ideas, productive responsibility and productive generosity are two very small parts of this episode. However, they spoke a lot to me and I think that they are ideas that people already know to be true, but rarely put more than a shallow thought into. I think my generation is one that has been handed too much, and in turn, has started to destroy itself through false and shallow values. There are too many people who value attention over acceptance and actual achievement. This is probably because there are ideologies that have seeped into the cracks of an entire generation, leading them to believe that everyone is a winner. This is not only wrong, but it is also a catastrophic mistake. We must not shelter ourselves from the world if we want to fix it. We must take calculated risks, and confront responsibility with our heads up and shoulders back. In turn, we must also be able to give. Each person has a gift, but what is a gift if it cannot be given? Share what you have with the world. 

This review is incomplete, and in order to make it complete, there must be a series. I only covered a couple things that were in this episode, but there are a few other points that stood out to me that I think people should meditate on:

  1. Don’t chase a partner, but instead be the person that your ideal partner would want. 
  2. Youth is a form of wealth
  3. Learn to write, use this to learn to think, use that to learn to speak, and only speak the truth
  4. The path of truth leads straight to the dragons
  5. Voluntary confrontation is at the core of adventure

You can find Peterson’s content on the Daily Wire+, where I have found it. A monthly subscription costs $15, and already I believe it to be worth it. There are many other profound thinkers on the platform too, who have influenced the way that I think and opened my mind to new ideas. This is just the beginning of my learning journey, and I want to use the Minnesota Republic to solidify my aim, and possibly guide others to focus on what they value. Look for more reviews and breakdowns in upcoming issues of the Minnesota Republic!

“He sees a lot of things from all perspectives. He is very insightful”

— Marko Mirkovic