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“Breaking Bad” is being hailed by millions as the “greatest television drama ever”, and I couldn’t agree more. {Spoiler alert, stop reading here if you haven’t completed the series yet!}

If you are one of the 4 people in the Western world that has not experienced this incredible show, allow me to give you the 20 second plot summary of “Breaking Bad”.

  • A schmuck high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with cancer…
  • He, Walter White,  is worried about his family’s financial future without him…
  • Walter decides to use his chemistry knowledge to cook crystal meth and becomes a bad ass drug king pin…

I’m devastated to see this brilliant show end but I love the life lessons that Walter White has taught us (not new revenue streams from your parked RV Winnebago or that meth cooking and distributing drugs is an awesome and extremely viable career path).

  1. Family is everything.  As a father, you do everything for your family.  If you don’t have family, you have nothing.
  2. “Disneyland Dads” never win.  Gifts don’t replace time spent.  Stop spending money (drug money) on flashy orange Mustang cars for your kids, and spend TIME.
  3. Love your wife and do not let any space come between you.  Space between leaves room for mistrust and bad decisions (and possibly an affair with lovable Ted Beneke).
  4. Always be honest with your children and spouse.   Your relationships need to be built on honesty, not lies, deceit, and betrayal (oh, and don’t be responsible of the grisly death of your DEA brother-in-law and kid’s favourite uncle).
  5. Stop being a martyr.  Get real, stop complaining, and keep in touch with your motives for everything you do.  What is the real payoff?  Who benefits?
  6. Drugs are bad.  Real bad.  Just say NO to crystal meth or anything similar, especially if you are offered it by a guy named “Skinny Pete” or “Badger”.
  7. Keep your EGO in check.  Every character’s ultimate downfall in “Breaking Bad” is their inflated sense of self.   Don’t let your ego get in the way of good decisions.  You are a hero to your children, but with great power comes great responsibility.   Wield that power carefully and with great care and intention.

Whether you love Walter White or not, you have to respect his core values.  Sure, his ego got the better of him and he killed a bunch of people and poisoned a kid (not his own), but at the end of the day, he did it all for his family.

Here is one of the best character exchanges between Walter White and his arch nemesis Gus Fring.

WW: I have made a series of very bad decisions and I cannot make another one.

GF: Why did you make these decisions?

WW: For the good of my family.

GF: Then they weren’t bad decisions. What does a man do, Walter? A man provides for his family.

WW: This cost me my family.

GF: When you have children, you always have family. They will always be your priority, your responsibility. And a man, a man provides. And he does it even when he’s not appreciated or respected or even loved. He simply bears up and he does it. Because he’s a man.

The most gut wrenching part of “Breaking Bad” to me was the smashed family unit.  He wanted to do everything for his family, but sadly he died alone in a meth lab; with his wife afraid of him, his daughter not knowing him, and his son wanting him to die.

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While Walter White will never be held in the same esteem as other epic TV dads like Bill Cosby’s “Cliff Huxtable” or that Brady Bunch dad, he is no Homer Simpson.  He was a man that taught us about ourselves and loved his family with a vengeance, and died trying to provide for them.  So how “Bad” is that?

Until next time…

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