Life lessons from Breaking Bad

Lets get this straight. Its been many years since Breaking Bad released, however I watched it only recently. Although it was initially scary and depressing to watch the Protagonist “Walter White” going through cancer, once we come over the fear of hospitals and death along with the character so amazingly portrayed by Bryan Cranston, we realize there is a lot of thought put into the scenarios and counter scenarios. Given there are many reviews and awards for this series already I am not going to get into the reviewing zone but would rather prefer to just stick to the lessons this unique series presents. Trust me, after every twist and turn, I keep realizing the hidden lessons this series offers.
Here are a few that caught my attention.
1. Don’t panic even if Cancer hits you. Use it to your advantage:
Sometimes we are all so blinded by our daily routine that we often forget where we lost our natural talent. It takes a disaster, it takes a gun on your forehead, it takes a countdown to your grave, it takes a threat of termination to make you stand up and take notice of what you lost in life’s unrelenting and unforgiving demands. Quite a few people get into depression and lose the energy to pursue anything in life when such a disaster strikes them. They get into the loop of thinking “why me?”. It need not be a life ending disaster, a few of us think like this even if we lose a girlfriend or a job. Breaking Bad teaches us to take up the disaster,  however small or big it may be, and make something productive out of it. What unfolds in the first season is that the protagonist realizes his natural potential of creating something so pure that he makes the whole nation crave for his product. Wow! Talk about taking Karma head on!
2. No matter how successful you become keep a low profile and stay down to earth:
Its human nature to feel happy with the wealth earned. And if one has sufficient wealth for 3 to 4 generations then one develops an itch to show off. They tend to forget the humble roots they came from. Replace wealth with Power / popularity, people react in the same way. The antagonist in Breaking Bad (atleast for 2 seasons) teaches us how he runs the biggest drug distribution empire and yet he smiles and takes orders from customers. He never forgot that it was this chain of restaurants that gave him his bread and butter initially. His humility & concern for the society (although fake in the series) keep him clear of any trouble. I am not saying create a cover identity, instead trying to establish that Gustavo Fring, as a businessman attracted less noise because he kept it calm and humble always. His restaurants were down to earth and so was his drug distribution business. Replace it with any legal business and it would still attract similar success is what I am trying to establish. Example – Superstar Rajinikanth.
3. Always wait patiently for your turn to hit back:
This is an era of instant Biryanis. Imagine, if Biryanis can be cooked instantly, why should one wait for retaliation/ revenge. We often witness petty fights and arguments because people are in a hurry to hit back on the insult or betrayal meted out to them. Sometimes we feel so powerless if the injustice meted out to us comes from a powerful/ wealthy individual. We are forced to wait and depend on someone else to deliver justice to us. However during the wait, we are really unsure whether justice will ever be delivered. Breaking Bad delivers a strong message in such scenarios. Even when you can’t utter a word or move a limb like Hector Salamanca, you will still have revenge served to you on a silver plate. Just trust the Universe and keep calm. What goes around comes around. We just have to identify the opportunity when it comes around instead of being blinded with the worry of delayed justice and damaged ego.
4. We are all like Lord Hanuman and need some ardent followers/ friends who can help us remember our core strengths:
Like Jesse Pinkman who reminds Walter white about his chemistry expertise and makes him build a battery out of nothing in the middle of a desert, we all need a set of believers who keep reminding us of our core strengths. Trust me, I sometimes don’t remember how my last weekend went. Life changes from weekend to weekend. In such a busy schedule we sometimes tend to forget our core strengths. We may have utilized some skills in our day to day lives but when we are hit with a temporary difficulty we forget what we know so well especially when it matters the most. It used to be very common with Lord Hanuman who always had to be reminded that he can lift mountains, that he can fly across oceans, that he can grow like a Hulk or minimize like an Antman.
5. Always hold on to your family, because family is all we got:
Like Jane’s father says “Family is all we got!” Need i say more on what that means? Nevertheless, it means we protect our family no matter what the difference of opinions. We should always strive to show the right path to our family members who are consciously or unconsciously straying away into darker territories.
–Varun Gowtham Mannava
(Also the author of “Polite Pickup Lines in Indian Pubs”)
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