My favorite show on T.V. is Breaking Bad. Watching this show has helped me come to a revelation about how to world works. I understand that it’s a fictitious show but I believe that it shows a very real side of human nature and the way we affect each other, completely unaware of it.
To get this point across I am going to do my best to briefly summarize what has transpired in the show which is now through three full seasons. The show gets its name from the term breaking bad which essentially means to make an abrupt change from good moral behaviour to that of bad.
The show centers on Walter White, an incredibly over qualified high school chemistry teacher. He is married to a wife, Skyler, who is expecting a child which wasn’t planned. He has a son, Walt Jr., in his late teens with cerebral palsy. He drives a beat up Pontiac Aztec and lives in luxurious Albuquerque New Mexico. He has just turned fifty years old and finds out that he has inoperable lung cancer.
Walt, while loving his family dearly, is a guy who is obviously frustrated with how is life has played out. People he used to work with are now rich on the back of his research, his students show him no respect and his wife wears the pants at home on the family front. He has a brother-in-law that is a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent who turns on the news one night at Walters house because there was going to be a story showing a big bust that his team had made. Walter sees images on the screen of a meth lab and boxes full of money. A long story short, the world has walked all over Walter (from his perspective) so he decides he is going to manufacture Meth as a means to leave money behind for his family before he dies.
On a ride along with his brother in law, Hank, Walter sees a former burn out student of his sneaking off from a house next to the crime scene. Walter tracks him down later on and they become partners. Walter produces the drugs and Jesse deals on the street. Walter has no idea the path that he has started down and what will be required of him to cover his tracks as he bumbles along in a new world that he is not cut out to be a part of.
Walter ends up lying to his family. He murders two drug dealers to protect himself and his family. He constantly puts Jesse in vulnerable positions and one time he gets beaten really badly. He steals some equipment from the chemistry lab at the school where he teaches and someone else takes the blame. Walter doesn’t confess and that person is then fired and wrongly imprisoned. We witness some of the people and children that are affected by the drugs he makes, and it isn’t pretty. His marriage falls apart and his son grows distant. He allows a girl to die by overdose because she is threatening to blow the lid off his operation. Afters this happens the girls dad is so grief stricken he goes back to work too soon because he can’t stand being home alone. He is an air traffic controller and in his sad, unfocused state he accidentally directs two planes into the same airspace and they collide. Hundreds more die. In the midst of all this his brother in law ends up taking out a major player in the drug world and has the Mexican cartel after him. They nearly kill him in a deadly shoot out. He may not walk again.
The show is really gripping. It’s difficult to watch but that is one of its best qualities. After season two with the air crash I had the thought that many people (within the world the show has created) would see that situation and ask the question why does God let stuff like that happen? While fictional, it shows the very real thing that happens all the time. People make poor decisions that get poor results. The only difference between the show and the real world is that we never see the connecting events where things start and what the results are. Walter started making drugs and through a series of connected events hundreds of people died in a horrible accident. To everyone in the area that have no idea about the details that led up to that situation it was a horrible event that happened that seems completely random.
Now someone out there that thinks they can find a loophole in this story might come up with something like “well if God didn’t let Walter get cancer none of this would have gotten started.” Well I suppose that could be true, but I would respond by saying what things have other people done that have caused cancer to be a diesease in the world? Pollution, radioactivity, genentically modified food, so many waves and signals flying around that we can’t possibly concieve of, would all be things that could possibly explain the reason cancer is around. And I believe that even if those things are known to be unhealthy for us the owners of the economy are not prepared to trade their profits and strangle hold on power for the greater health and well being of the human race. Again, there is greed at the centre of what is negatively affecting so many people.
Everything we do everyday effects everyone and the environment around us. Our actions are like a chain of dominoes that race along from one place to another affecting everyone around us. That is likely the main reason that Christ commanded us to love our neighbour like ourself.
Lets think about something random in the real world. Like a kid walking into a school with a gun and taking out a bunch of students. Something like that occurs and people ask the classic “if there is a good God why does he let such terrible things happen?” Well I ask why do we focus only on the one aspect of the situation? What happened to that kid in their life that brought him or her to that situation? Was he or she bullied mercilessly? How did his or her parents fail them? What things had affected them to lead them to such an action? Music? TV? Loneliness? Maybe they were abused at home? Maybe their parents drank? What happened in their parent’s life that led them to drinking? I think you see what I am getting at. In all situations there is a back story that we don’t know about. We only see the conclusion.
So then the last thing we need to consider here is the fact that God created us with free will. That means we have the capacity to choose what we want to do. So if we have the ability to choose our paths and do what we want does that not leave us responsible for the outcomes? I think it does. Another question that gets me thinking is the idea of would we be better off not having free will? What if God had just created little drones to do what He wanted? If that were the case how would that be enjoyable and rewarding to our Creator? It wouldn’t be. But here is the catch at the end of it all. Free will gives us the capacity to choose the will of God over our own. That is the challenge of life. So we don’t need to be reduced to robots to be good, kind, selfless and loving people that God desires us to be, we can choose that.
Consider God’s will, that we be servants to Him and each other. That we love other before ourselves. That we love our Creator, God and saviour, Jesus with all our soul, mind and strength. Consider what outcomes would be different for the world if we were living that way. I am sure you will see if we break good, instead of bad… the world and the impression of God would be a lot different for the better.