Choosing to live

One of my favorite films is the 1994 drama, The Shawshank Redemption. It is a movie I never tire of watching. One of the central characters in the movie is Ellis “Red” Redding, portrayed by Morgan Freeman. As a young man Red was rightly convicted of murder and has spent 40 plus years of his adult life in Shawshank Prison. There he knows the routine, has a certain status among the inmates, and has settled in. As he remarks about himself – he is an institutionalized man. Part of that life is that he lives in a state of managed fear from the guards, prison gangs, and the long silence in the night when he is alone with his thoughts. Part of that life is the operation of a contraband business acquiring and selling goods and hard-to-get items to other prisoners. In his own way, he is comfortable… safe. He risks little, he gains nothing. Continue reading