Friday, November 4, 2011

Get Busy Living

Disclaimer: I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. Still finding the right words so this particular entry is a work in progress.

I remember when I first saw The Shawshank Redemption in laser disc waaay back when... I found it to be such a game changer. It shook the limits of my youngling, spoiled-brat paradigm and introduced harsh truths like corruption, injustice and the cruelty of the power hungry. I was watching a masterpiece, one that would transcend time and age. I knew if I saw it again later in life, the film would still have a profound effect.

I was right.

One miraculously slow weekend, while surfing SKY's digibox channels, I stumbled upon the opening credits of The Shawshank Redemption on HBO. As its been more than 15 years since my original viewing of the feature, the cable recap was like watching the movie for the first time all over again. This time though, a line Andy Dufresne said to Red in their last prison yard discussion struck me most. Andy was talking about what he'd do once he got out of prison; move to Mexico, build a hotel by the beach, buy an old boat and fix her up to take guests out fishing... Red took the realist's road, bursting Andy's bubble early so he won't get his hopes up too high. To that, Andy's last words were "I guess it comes down to a simple choice really. Get busy living or get busy dying." then he walks away.

Red feared Andy meant to commit suicide. He seemed to have lost his hope, his patience and his marbles, and Red seemed to have lost his friend in the conversation. But of course, we know its to the contrary. Andy was just putting the last finishing touches to his escape plan, in hopes that his friend would remember their last conversation so they could meet again beyond the walls of Shawshank. Andy refused to let the dreary prison life bring him down, and he tried as best he could to infect his best friend with his hope.

Get busy living was his choice because the walls enclosing him were not the limits of the life he wanted to live. Get busy living because dying is way too simple... and easy. Get busy living because life is good and is meant to be experienced to the fullest every damn day.

I choose to get busy living.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. :)

    I have not seen The Shawshank Redemption.

    This entry has just prompted me to have this movie downloaded.


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