Breaking Bad’s Walter White valued his teaching abilities. From teaching high school chemistry to idiot Aryan offspring Todd how to cook meth, Mr. White took satisfaction in knowing he could teach another person something worthwhile. We may have never met, mostly because he’s fictional, but Walter White taught me a lot about life.
WARNING: The following contains important Breaking Bad spoilers.
Family comes first, even if it means hurting other family members:
Walter never had any intentions on hurting his family. Even when he continued to push Skylar away, ignored Walter Junior aka Flynn, and was to blame for Hank’s death, Walter did not want anything bad to happen to them. Of course sometimes you do have to lie to your wife, forget about your son, and have your brother-in-law murdered in the New Mexico dessert to get what you want. Family comes first, but always at the expense of other family members.
Set your goals high and never back down from them:
Walter had one goal, to build an empire. He wanted to be the best meth cook and he succeeded. Even when confronted by the dangerous Gus Fring, Mexican drug cartel, and the countless other eventual victims to his plans, Walter never backed down. He stood tall with a menacing glare. When death was imminent he always had a contingency plan or a reason why killing him would be more spite than justified. It was always clear to his enemies that Walter was more valuable alive than dead. Walter did every step necessary to achieve his goals and despite how it turned out, he was the best at what he did.
Make your name the brand:
The Heisenberg name was synonymous with the blue crystal meth he cooked. The same way on the television show Weeds the “Milf Weed” became a popular brand, Heisenberg’s ‘Blue Sky’ was the Tickle Me Elmo of crystal meth. The most important part of the brand name for Walter White was intimidation. He was at the point where he simply had to tell drug kingpins to “say my name” and as soon as they figured out what brand he represented, Walter had won any argument.
Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and the enemies of your enemies the closest:
Gus Fring would have probably survived Walter’s attempts to kill him if not for Walter turning to another enemy of Fring, Hector Salamanaca. It took a handful of dings from a bell and a bomb strapped to a wheelchair to eliminate the unsuspecting Fring from this planet, starting with the right side of his face. Walter had very few true friends, Jesse being the only ally and even that changed week to week. Walter played people perfectly no matter what the relationship he had. In the end it caught up eventually because when you hire bad people to take out another bad person, eventually those bad people will break bad on you. Walter White may have taken manipulation to an extreme, but surely we can all take away how important it is to know your place and have some control over it.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day:
The relationship Walter had with Walt Junior centered on breakfast. Over the series we saw them enjoy the most important meal of the day fewer and fewer times together until the end when all Walt could do was peer at his only son through an apartment window. Walter will never win any father of the year awards for sure. What he did teach is that it’s important to have those moments with special people in your life. Once you lose these moments, you lose those people. Whether this moment is breakfast, a movie night, or any other tradition, this is what reminds people they are special to you. Walter started off eating breakfast every morning with his son and eventually was left eating it alone on his birthday in a diner.