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15 Life Lessons From The Godfather

The Godfather (Parts I, II, and III) are classic movies (adapted from a bestselling novel) that
have all stood the test of time. Not only is The Godfather an entertaining gangster saga, but it is
also a story about power, family, and capitalism. It has so much substance, and it offers some
very important life lessons. Thats certainly an offer you cant refuse.
1. Dont make promises you cannot keep. Your word is the most important thing that you have to
offer. Dont take it lightly. Always deliberate whether you can or cannot fulfil a promise. Its
also okay to say no to a request (unless its on your daughters wedding day).
2. Dont involve yourself in other peoples personal lives. Especially, do not involve yourself in
the life of a married couple. Gossiping or giving advice on personal matters is and should always
remain frowned upon. Someones personal life is exactly that its personal and privacy must be
respected. When Connie and Carlo have a fight at the dinner table, Sonny tries to intervene only
to be hushed by Mrs. Corleone, Sonny, dont get involved. Carmela Corleone
3. Family is the most important thing in life.
Blood is thicker than water. A man who doesnt 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.
Don Vito Corleone
4. Dont go against your family.
Dont be like Fredo Corleone. No matter how much you might dislike your family, theyre still
your family. Out of respect, do not go against your own blood, unless youre prepared to suffer
the consequences of alienation (or death). Fredo youre my older brother, and I love you. But
dont you ever go against the family again. Ever. Michael Corleone.
5. Dont 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 those of Santino Sonny
Corleone, eventually lead to his downfall. Why? Because he became predictable. Dont ever
become predictable. Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment. Michael Corleone.
6. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Always keep a watchful eye on your
enemies and play lifes 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. When Michael Corleone was bullied by Senator Pat Geary he simply replied My offer is
thisnothing. He kept Mr. Geary in his circle, and played his cards right, eventually landing
the politician in his pocket.
7. Establish friendships out of respect, business, and trust. 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. Friendship is everything.
Friendship is more than talent. It is more than the government. It is almost the equal of family.
Don Vito Corleone.

8. White-collar criminals are the most powerful criminals. From Wall Street to Bay Street, to
international investors and politicians, people in high places of power can create more chaos and
impact your family in a much more negative way than your average criminal. Thus, education
and working your way up into the upper echelons of society is a life lesson that you must adhere
to if you want to become successful and powerful. The average street criminal is not glorified in
the grand scheme of things. The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man
with the gun. Mario Puzo, The Godfather
Michael: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president
or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators dont have
men killed.
Michael: Oh. Whos being naive, Kay?
9. Keep your business private; only discuss it amongst family members. Michael Corleone:
Dont ask me about my business! Dont 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.
Its best you keep business private to outsiders.
10. Violence is the last option. Throughout The Godfather, the theme of diplomacy over violence
cannot go undetected. Once a war begins, lives are lost, business slows down or completely halts
and its financially deflating. I dont like violence, Tom. Im a businessman. Blood is a big
expense. Solozzo.
11. Dont sell drugs. There exists a hierarchy of crime, and drugs rank at the top. Selling drugs
taints ones public image. Its true I have a lot of friends in politics, but they wouldnt be so
friendly if they knew my business was drugs instead of gambling which they consider a harmless
vice. But drugs, thats a dirty business. Don Vito Corleone.
12. Never make a request without offering your respect and friendship in return. Making a
formal request to someone be made with respect and your offer of friendship and loyalty.
Otherwise, you will be considered weak, unreliable, and untrustworthy. Now you come to me,
and you say: Don Corleone, give me justice. But you dont ask with respect. You dont offer
friendship. You dont even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the
day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to do murder for money. Don Vito Corleone.
13. Build a powerful community. By helping others, you will receive help as well. You will also
receive respect. Don Vito Corleone built a powerful empire by building a strong community. He
helped his local neighbours and friends and established a strong reputation. Someday, and that
day may never come, Ill call upon you to do a service for me. Don Vito Corleone.
14. Be prepared ahead of time. Never make a move or judgement without careful planning ahead
of time. Patience is also key. Hey, listen, I want somebody good and I mean very good to
plant that gun. I dont want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hands,
alright? Santino Sonny Corleone.

15. Dont take things too personal. Sometimes, you simply need to remember that, its not
personal, its business. Michael Corleone

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