A great film on persistence “Andy Dufrense who crawled through a river of shit & came out clean on the other side. “
The above line is from the film The Shaw shank Redemption that is narrated by Morgan Freeman who plays a character called “Red”. For those of you who don’t know, the film is about a prison break. Andy Dufrense (Tim Robbins), a successful banker gets a double life sentence for killing his wife & her lover but he claims that he is innocent. In prison however, he has an extremely calm & relaxed feel about himself. Almost like he’s strolling in the garden. His hobby is shaping rocks amongst other things. When the police officers find out about his knowledge on money & finance, he almost becomes a financial & tax planner for most of the police officers.
Despite his respected position in prison, he has to battle sexual abuse & face solitary punishment at the whims of the warden. Being the virtuous person he is, he continues to build a library & helps a few people with their education. Later in the film, he finds who the actual killer was because of which he has been wrongly jailed & sees hope for to get evidence for his innocence. When he discusses this with the warden, he ignores his request & in fact gives him solitary punishment for a month.
It’s almost like he does everything right yet everything goes wrong for him. So coming back to the line above “Andy Dufrense who crawled through a river of shit & came out clean on the other side”
Toward the end of the film, he manages to escape prison to everyone’s amazement and it appears like he has just vanished & no one can understand where he’s gone, until they find out how he escaped.
Knowing he was innocent & wrongly punished, Andy has been planning his prison break since the time he came into prison & has been digging a tunnel for almost 20 years which connects him to the sewage lines from which he escapes.
What’s the point I’m trying to make?
To me the biggest lesson from the film is how clear it was about what he wanted to do & how long he kept at it irrespective of how long it took or how difficult it was. You may argue that what they have shown is not possible in the film but what resonates with the audience is the focus & persistence he had in the film.
We all want to come out clean in life by achieving what it is we want but often shy away from going through our river of shit because it may be too difficult or we may be scared we may not make it but the good thing in reality is no one’s going to shoot or or send us to prison if we don’t succeed in crossing the river the first time.
Its keeping our focus on getting on the other side is what will give is the courage to cross our river & sustain through the difficult parts. I hope the above line motivates you as much as it motivates me every time I hear it. Although the film did not see much commercial success, over the years it has acquired the status of being amongst the best films ever made.
If you haven’t seen the film, I suggest you watch it today & make a plan as to how you want to cross your river & don’t let the pile of shit scare you.
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