Twenty five years ago on June 11, a movie called Ferris Bueller's Day Off was released. I was just on the cusp of becoming a teenager, and I didn't see it in the theater, but when it was released for home viewing. I sat in the comfort of my living room and identified with the stressed out Cameron and longed for the freedom of Ferris. All these years later, certain lines from the movie have penetrated deep into the American psyche, the title of this post foremost among them. Looking back, I wondered what wisdom I could pull from this old friend of a movie to share with you. I found plenty!
This, of course, is the movie's tag line, summing up its whole message. It's a good one; I think I've pretty much covered how much I agree with it in last month's post. But there's more!
Ferrus: Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you'd have a diamond.
Did I mention I identified with Cameron? Yeah. Back in my pre-enlightened days, I was a giant stress ball, too. Trying to please everyone and do the right thing so hard and somehow screwing it up anyway? Not fun. I don't recommend it.
Ferris: Four thousand restaurants in the downtown area, I pick the one my father goes to.
Cameron: We're pinched, for sure.
Ferris: Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.
Son of a bitch! There it is; my most recent life lesson sitting there in a movie from 1986, like I could've known it all along! My husband taught me this. No, he's not a con man, but he does have a hell of a lot of confidence, and I have been continually shocked at how much he gets and gets away with because of it. The problem? You can't fake it. If you are genuinely confident, genuinely bold, you will be a lot more successful, as a rule, than if you aren't. So my first advice to almost everyone is: work on your self esteem. Be bold! Again, life is too short for anything else.
Ferris: I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?
That said, remember that even the bold don't always get what they want. They don't sit around being miserable, though; they DO something about it.
Cameron: The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion.
Ferris: It is his fault he didn't lock the garage.
That said, the bold and confident need to remember a few important things. For one, a little humility is crucial.
Ferris: Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.
For another, don't forget to appreciate your friends!
Cameron: You hit me. Look don't make me participate in your stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it. You make me get out of bed, you make me come over here. You make me make a phony phone call to Edward Rooney? The man could squash my nuts into oblivion. And-and-and then, and then, you deliberately hurt my feelings.
Also, don't forget to choose friends with a really good sense of humor. They'll need it!
On the other hand, friends of people who really live, who give life their all, tend to pick up on the vibe eventually. I know I'm a different person now than I ever would have been had I not hitched myself to my spouse's star. It worked out pretty well for Cameron, too.
Cameron: I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I'm going to take a stand. I'm going to defend it. Right or wrong, I'm going to defend it.
Sometimes, you just have to take the wheel.
Sloane: What are we going to do?
Ferris: The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"
Cameron: Please don't say were not going to take the car home. Please don't say were not going to take the car home. Please don't say were not going to take the car home.
Ferris: [to the camera] If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away?
Ferris: Neither would I.
Take the lead in your own story, and make your own happy ending.
Cameron: Ferris Bueller, you're my hero.