As I write this, I can actually hear the haunting music that plays at the opening scene of this movie, but as an avid reader and lover of written words, of course, I love the book more. The Godfather by Mario Puzo is one of those rare books that has affected millions, if not billions of people and I can proudly proclaim that I am definitely one of them.. I read this book for the first time when I was 13 years old and have probably re read it hundreds of times since. Sometimes when I’m down, I just open the book to a random page and start reading it. It has so many quotes, so many characters and oh so many things to fall in love with. But beyond all that it has lessons for life.
Lesson #1. I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse
Perhaps the most cliched line in the history of time, but this is one the most valuable things I have learnt. No one likes hearing “No”, no one likes rejection, and if there’s only one lesson to be learnt from this, it is this, make yourself indispensable, be it in business, a job or with family, friends and loved ones. Take the time and make the effort it will be worth it.
Lesson #2. Never tell anyone outside of your family what you are thinking
Family is the most important thing, EVER! There is nothing more important than family. Friends come a close second and the Godfather knew this. But when it comes to family and loyalty, I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said. It is good advice though, cause often times we get blindsided by smooth-talkers that lead us on to believe that they care, when they really might not. Know who you can trust and build those relationships, Its the most valuable wealth to accumulate.
Lesson #3. Don’t ever take sides against the family
Just like the Don before him, Michael also knew this as one of the cardinal rules of life. This lesson is an extension of the previous one. In life, the only people who are capable of unconditional and selfless love is family, and taking sides against them is a really unforgivable error of judgment. It is also a Bit of a no-brainer, really!! Never take sides against family. Just don’t!
Lesson #4. “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man”- Don Vito Corleone
If you want to test the true character of a man, see how he treats his family.. This book is especially great in helping you decide how to judge a man because it shows you so many contrasting characters like Carlo Rizzi who habitually beats his wife which eventually gets him killed, well that and the betrayal. And then there are remarkable men like Don Vito, Micheal, Tom and Sonny who are Men who have set standards to live up to.
Notice how a man treats his family and you will know if you can trust him. Its really that simple.
Lesson #5. It wasn’t personal…. Except, it is ALWAYS personal!
“It was business, don’t take it personal”, another iconic line that has featured in this book numerous times, But when you read it for the soul and spirit of what this means, you know that the secret to Don Vito’s power was that he took a genuine interest in helping each person who came to him, he took it personally, and he took it to heart. “Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult” this was said about the great Don Vito by his son Micheal, when he talks about taking things personal. In life, do everything with all your heart or don’t do it at all. There are many things in life that are mediocre, make sure your actions aren’t one of them.
The trick to doing this is to do everything with love. Doing things out of spite or hatred is counter productive and often useless.. Make sure all your actions stem from Love and it automatically becomes personal.
There are many many more lessons, many lines which have impacted me profoundly and many characteristics embodied by these fictional characters that make me wish that they were real and talking about each and every one of them would make this post a never ending one.
Until next time..