We have been talking about classic movies in our house—you know—the movies that every person needs to see in their lifetime…and there are so many of them. Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, Dead Poet’s Society, Mr. Holland’s Opus….insert your favorite titles here….So Noah decided to set up Classic Movie Night with some friends and watch some “parent suggested” movies, starting with The Breakfast Club—one of those eighties flicks with so much teenage angst. When I watched it again I forgot about all the horrible language, but the point and message of the movie remains so true no matter what generation. Its message—“strangers with nothing in common, except each other.” Being a former junior high teacher and a current Youth Director, my whole purpose in my profession/life is to love teenagers as they deal with all their insecurities, angst, and searching for something. I love teens and I grieve for them. They endure so much—from school pressures, and sports, and parents, and peer struggles, and identity crises, and heartache and pain. They are just trying to be the best “Me” they can be, and have so many opposing forces. Give me a “walls up, guarded heart” 14 year old girl, bring me the insecure, downtrodden 16 year old boy, offer me the 18 year old searching for meaning and purpose. I just want to love them and tell them they are worthy.
So The Breakfast Club brings together the “typical” types in a high school: The Brain, the Athlete, the Princess, the Basket Case and the Criminal. They gather together in detention and by the end of the day they discover their unity as simply being a PERSON who LIVES. They break down barriers and walls and stereotypes and they come together as one. I could go on and on in my English teacher fashion about all the themes and messages for high school and society in general that this movie touches upon. It is so deep and real and it strikes such a chord about status ladders or the labels we impose either on ourselves or others. Watching Breakfast Club again reminds me of the differences we all have, yet the unity we have as the human race. We come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and yet we are all searching for purpose and meaning in life. We all want to MATTER.
Having cancer makes everything MATTER even more. Each of the kids in Breakfast Club just wants to matter—to someone….and to live for something. Yet they are caught up in their stereotype and live with the fact that no one really knows them deeply and intimately. No one can get past their stereo type and Brian even asks the big question, “Will we be friends on Monday?” And Claire answers with the very honest, “Probably NOT.” What will it take to get past our barriers, our stereotypes, our labels?
It takes TIME and Love. Time, to really know someone, past the superficial hellos and how are yous and into the deep. Time to care and spend quality time, and ask the Bigger Questions. We don’t do that because we are so busy “doing” life instead of relishing life and relationships. We pack our calendars with all the must do’s of life and we miss out on the purpose of life. We were created to be in relationships—with God and with each other. We were created to love and to know each other intimately. We were created to go beyond walls and barriers and get to the “real” of someone.
Unfortunately in life we will always live with the stereotypes and labels and rungs of the social ladder. But what can you and I do today and every day to go bigger and deeper with others? The Brain, the Athlete, the Princess, the Basket Case and the Criminal all left detention with a better understanding of others and themselves. It is a deep movie with a clear message….we are NOT the sum of what other people think we are. We are real people with real hurts, struggles, pains and joys. Now let’s go take the time to RELISH others.