Maxims are universal ethical rules of conduct that guide us when we encounter unexpected or difficult situations in life.
It was asked on Quora:
If you could write a rulebook for being a man, what “Man Law” would you write?
Don’t feel limited by anything. Think about what you would want to see in an ideal man. What are the qualities of a good husband, father, brother? What one thing would you want to see in your daughter’s boyfriend or husband?
Here is the wise list of guiding maxims espoused by Dr. Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto and clinical psychologist:
- Encourage children through play.
- Promote the best in people.
- Keep the sacred fire burning.
- Guard the women and children from harm.
- Confront the eternal adversary.
- Build the crystal palace.
- Confront death with courage and return.
- Dare to cut down a tree.
- Offer your sons up as a sacrifice to God.
- Protect your daughters from exploitation.
- Store up wealth for the future.
- Consult the ancestral spirits.
- Read great books.
- Speak the truth about unpleasant things.
- Pay close attention.
- Make a worthy temple for the Lord.
- Keep the howling winds of winter at bay.
- Stand up for the oppressed.
- Provide a warm and secure home.
- Be a prince of peace.
- Don’t be too civilized. (related video)
- Organize yourself with other men. (related video)
- Be faithful to your wife.
- Be hospitable to friends and strangers.
- Rout the wolves and chase the lions so the shepherds can eat.
- Establish a destination – and a path.
- Bring heaven to earth.
- Take on the sins of the world.
- Dig the wells and mine the gold and copper.
- Gather everyone to the banquet.
- Grow up and take responsibility. (related video)
- Resist pride in all things.
What would you add? Or what do you think needs more context?
For a more thorough understanding of maxims, see this video about Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy and conscience in the film Kingdom of Heaven, particularly at 1:45