The Breakfast Club

Dear M & A,

At some stage you’ll go and see a movie that makes an impact in your life. You may have already done this. There will be nothing specific about it at the time but for one reason or another you’ll remember more about it than any of the other movies you saw.

I first saw The Breakfast Club with one of your aunts and your uncle one Saturday afternoon when I was about 12 years old. I had been to the dentist that morning. How do I remember this? I don’t know but I do.

The movie itself has aged quite well compared to other teen-angst movies of the time. It features a group of kids in their final year of high school (so not far off your age now) who are forced to spend a Saturday in detention. It had all of the social school groups represented (even if it had nothing but white kids): there was the rich girl, the sports nut, the nerd, the weirdo and the delinquent. I use those terms because it’s important to the story.

The Breakfast Club showed that despite their differences, despite the labels they place on themselves and each other, and despite the fact that they’re not expected to get along, they do end up getting along. Even if it was for just that one day in detention.

Don’t let the insecurities of others prevent you from doing wonderful things.

The movie shows that deep down we’re all unsure of what we’re doing; we just do it. A lot of our aggression and anger and frustration and prejudice comes down to uncertainty and insecurity. We say mean things. We tease and bully. We close our minds to what is really possible. We miss out on great friendships and opportunities. And most of the time we don’t know why we’re doing it other than because we’re worried about what our friends will think and what our parents will think.

At the end of the day you need to know that very few people ever really know what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. But hopefully we’ve taught you right from wrong and that we’re all in this together. Don’t be sheep. Don’t let the insecurities of others prevent you from doing wonderful things. Make your own choices.

No one gets anything substantial out of treating other people badly. We’re all different and we all need to respect each other’s right to be different. Life would be dull if we were all the same. Be different. Be nice. Be the wonderful people you want to be.



Join a great bunch of dads (and mums). Subscribe now.