“Everybody has that dream to have a ‘godfather’ that you can go to to help you solve your issues”-Al Pacino
Originally published in 1959, the fifth book of Mario Puzo, even before it was published, it was getting a lot of attention; but it is the Legacy of this masterpiece which stays with us for years to come.
Growing up my father would always watch the first instalment of The Godfather when he need to make what he would call a “Big Decision”. He would recite lines from the film like a an actor before stepping on to the stage.
Not only is The Godfather an entertaining gangster saga, but it is also a story about power, family, and capitalism; and it offers some very important life lessons.
“It was all for the sake of The Family“
As Don Vito says “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man” and “the only wealth in this world is children, more than all the money, power on earth.” Te Godfather portrays a very traditional, very clear-cut familial roles but with character whom are depicted not as a one-size-fit-all but multilayered complex individuals. This is what’s true not only about people in general, but also the dynamic individuals that create a family unit.
“Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family.”
Family you cannot chose, but friends you can. Consider the benefits that a certain friendship can bring. Likewise, consider the disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons and choose carefully. Some people ‘love’ for the people outside of the norms, it’s the glamour, it’s the power, it’s the fantasy of the “outlaw hood” of the person who doesn’t have to conform to society’s structure. It’s a romanticisation. And it can have major consequences if misplaced.
“…you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t you ever go against the family again. Ever.”
But, no matter how much you might dislike your family, they’re still your family. Out of respect, do not go against your own blood, unless you’re prepared to suffer the consequences of alienation (or worse…just ask Fredo).
“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse“
Always keep a watchful eye on your enemies and play life’s “game of chess” with precision, dedication, and tact. Always hold your ground and never burn bridges, no matter how much you might dislike someone. Especially in public.
“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.”-Michael Corleone.
“Women are more dangerous than shotguns“
Though The Godfather shows the traditional roles of the man being the head of the family, but the women were the ones whom dictated their actions. An underlining contrast to the main overflow of “patriarchy and order”. Keep in mind that this was all before Game Of Thrones and Scandal came along…
“Don’t ask me about my business!“
Don’t discuss your personal or family business to strangers. You never know who will use this information in their own favor, for their own personal gains. It’s best you keep business private to outsiders.
“Its not personal; its strictly business.”
Things happen; don’t act on emotion. Act only after you have mulled over all of the possible outcomes that will commence after your action. Think wisely and diplomatically. Emotional outbursts, like Sonny. It’s dangerous because he became predictable. Don’t ever become predictable. Be prepared ahead of time. Never make a move or judgement without careful planning ahead of time. Patience is also key.
“Character is destiny“
There is the difference between what people do and the image they portray. What they should be; who they should be. If the hero can rise to the occasion then he is blessed and can show how he can take power, and leave one world to enter another. Your reputation is built over time. People will view you as trustworthy based on your behavior.