Tag Archives: prison

If School is Prison, Be Andy Dufresne…

ShawshankThe thought of school being like prison is not a new one.  I’m sure that most students have thought it or said it at one point.  It’s an easy enough correlation to make: brick walls, questionable food, time to be served and other ne’er do wells in the same boat.  Although I’ve visited a prison before, most of my frame of reference comes from books and movies.  The most prevalent being The Shawshank Redemption.  While this book/movie is completely fictitious, conceived in the mind of Stephen King, there is value in the exercise of comparing the fiction to the reality.

Most prisoners in the story are simply waiting out the term of their sentence.  Like the character Brooks in the movie, they wait for many years and then are utterly lost when they are released.  This is not unlike many high school students.  Their years in captivity are spent waiting for their time to be up but not fully conceiving what they might do with their freedom.

Bill_Gates_June_2015The one outlier in Shawshank Prison is Andy Dufresne.  A former banker that does not endure his time in the prison but uses it.  Although his sentence is life, he always has an idea of what he’ll do with his life when he gets out.  Slowly and methodically he uses time as his ally to dig his way out of prison and to his desired future.  While this makes for a good movie, it is just fiction, isn’t it?  A quick read of the story of a young Bill Gates shows a great example of art imitating life imitating art.

Prison is a place where a person is confined.  It is possible to be in physical prison and be free mentally.  The much more common situation seems to be people that are physically free but mentally imprisoned.  They are shackled to self-limiting thoughts and habitual attitudes that keep them from living freely.  If you feel like you’re in prison, take a look around and try to find the warden.  There really isn’t one.  Just systems that can be endured or used to improve your station when you’re done with your time.  Don’t let a situation that you don’t like turn your life into one that you don’t like.  The only one who can give permission for your mind to be a prison is you.

Be free today!

Pete

 

The Perfect Prison

ShawshankThe Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite movies.  Based on how often it is shown on TV, I’m not the only one.  SPOILER ALERT!  If somehow you’ve not seen this movie that was released in 1994 and don’t want it ruined, STOP READING!  (For those that are pressing on)  The movie and the book that it is based on recount the multiple decades of Andy Dufresne’s life in Shawshank State Penitentiary as the wrongly convicted murderer of his wife and her lover.  There are some differences between the movie and the book but mostly Andy is a methodically planning his escape through a tunnel in his cell wall.  He finally achieves his goal after years of slow chiseling and eventually crawling through a shit-filled pipe.  Shawshank was not meant to hold Andy Dufresne because he was free where it counted most, in his mind.

While most of us can’t imagine living Andy’s life in Shawshank, we can definitely imagine the way that we wish our life was.  We wish that things were easier, less busy, more money, fewer problems and more “perfect”.  The problem with the image of perfect is that it is a prison of its own.   That image exists in a completely fictitious world where things just fall into place magically.  While it may be a nice diversion, it is not anything resembling a game plan.

So if you want to break free from the prison of that perfect image and move to real freedom, you may need to follow the path of Andy Dufresne.  Chisel away at that dream that you have, possibly for years.  Take joy discarding the small pieces of rubble that you’ve chipped away from the wall in front of you.  Just be ready when you finally feel that you’ve broken through, there could still be 500 yards of shit for you to crawl through.  Expecting that type of a path will make your real journey to your dream life seem like a walk in the park!

Break out the rock hammer!Rock hammer

Pete