Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.
Principal Richard Vernon, The Breakfast Club
30 years ago last month The Breakfast Club, the greatest of all the ‘Brat Pack’ films, was released: a classic coming-of-age story in which five high school teenagers are thrown together in Saturday morning detention and realise that they are each more than the stereotypes they supposedly represent.
Although Principal Vernon is the nominal villain of the piece, this insightful line remains my favourite quote from the film. It’s a salutary reminder about bettering ourselves for our own benefit rather than chasing the approval of others.
Sometimes we wish we could be more like a fellow parent who seems to have everything sorted. Or we hope that our children could be more like one of their peers: more academic, more sporty, more popular. But what really matters is that we become the best that we can be rather than trying to be an imitation of someone else. We should seek and celebrate diversity rather than replication.