Life’s Obstacles

In the popular 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption, the character Andy is wrongly convicted of murder and is incarcerated in the notoriously harsh Shawshank Prison.

Shawshank redemption

Andy (left in picture) works in the prison library which has very few resources except for some old tattered books and magazines. he begins a campaign to improve and expand the library and approaches the prison wardens for funds.

The warden is reluctant to spend taxpayers money on luxuries for convicted criminals. Andy is not deterred and so he asks the wardens permission to write to the State Senate for funds. Despite believing Andy’s efforts are a waste of time, the warden promises to personally mail the letters.

Andy sets about sending one letter a week to the Senate, asking for assistance, believing that they can’t ignore him forever. It takes six years but to Andy’s amazement boxes of books are delivered to the prison, together with a cheque for $200. A note is attached from the Senate stating thet they now consider the matter closed!

Some of the prison officers are surprised that Andy’s persistence has paid off. Andy becomes even more determined and starts writing two letters a week! The State realizes Andy can’t be bought off with $200 and a few boxes of books. In the hope of silencing him, the State approves an annual payment of $500. Andy makes that $500 stretch as far as it would go. He did deals with book clubs and charity groups. The library was refurbished and it became the place to be. It was the best prison library in all of New England.

Despite the desperate situation, he found himself in and the many obstacles he faced, Andy never gave up. His determination, his persistance and his commitment was rewarded.

This is the same for all of us. Most of us are not as hampered as Andy. We are free. We can fight to live or we can give up, wither and die.

I happened to watch this movie when I was jobless and frustrated from applying for tens of jobs without any replies. When you’re down and out, it is so easy to give up in despair.  But what this movie teaches you is not to stop asking. Keep knocking on doors, several times if you must, until you find and get what you want. Persevere. Dont stop knocking until your last breath.

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