Everything we need to know about understanding each other we learned from The Breakfast Club. The writer and director, John Hughes, was a genius and I wish I learned the lesson when I first took the class (aka watched the movie).
The final line of The Breakfast Club sums up most of us. “Each of us is a brain, and an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” We all have those aspects to us. I only wish I understood that while I was in high school.
I have always been a nerd. Now I can proudly say it, but back in the day, I tried to hide it the best I could. Which, let’s face it, didn’t work very well. I made good grades without trying, I read all the time, and I didn’t do a lot of partying. When you live in a small town, there is no getting around it. You’re a nerd. I wanted to be a “cool” kid in the popular crowd. It was a goal I never achieved, though honestly I didn’t try very hard. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t attain that goal.
The behavior we see in high school never really goes away. Even in the adult world there are cliques. We are always trying to keep up with someone – be more successful, have more money, buy better stuff, get our kids in the right schools, be in the “it” crowd.
John Hughes didn’t include jerk or judger in his list of what we are, but we must add those to the list. We all do it. I know only a couple of people who I can absolutely say without question that they would never judge or be a jerk to anyone. The rest of us can be lumped in with the masses.
So, if we are all a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, a criminal, a jerk, and a judger, why don’t we learn from this and understand that we are all alike. We all have feelings; we all have insecurities; we all have fears; and we all hope to be accepted.
If we know that we all want and need the same basic things, why do we do things that hurt each other?
Interestingly, our compulsion to be accepted drives a lot of our actions and words. If we put down one group of people, the group we are with will accept us. It takes a very strong person to go against what is expected of them.
Literature and film are full of characters who stand up against the group for what they believe, even standing up against their friends. We root for them to do the right thing. We want them to succeed. Yet most of us don’t do that in real life.
Perhaps we watch these characters and root for them so strongly, because we want to be that person. The person who stands up for others even if it means we will be ostracized by our friends and family. Maybe we think we are that person already.
I would venture a guess that most of us are nice people, but we still say and do not nice things sometimes.
Could we remember that we are all a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, a criminal, a jerk, and a judge? Remember that we are all fundamentally the same. We can all take a lesson from John Hughes.