Shawshank Redemption – A Personal Finance Story
I just finished watching the The Shawshank Redemption after buying it at Target for $5.00 (money very well spent)! I’ve seen it many times before, but it’s a great movie and worth watching again and again!
This article about The Shawshank Redemption – A Personal Finance Story will be a spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie. And if you haven’t seen the movie, please do so… I think you will find that it’s worth it since it is the top ranked movie of all time (according to IMDB.com top 250 movies).
If you were to tell me that I would like a movie about a successful, honest, good person wrongfully accused of killing his wife and her lover, and that during the movie he would repeatedly get brutally gang raped, I would have said you’re nuts!
I would have thought is was a documentary that was going to depress the hell out of me! But I was wrong! I watch the move after it was recommendation from a friend that said it was better than it sounded (I missed it when it came out in the theater…). And she was right!
Hope – The Magic of the Story of The Shawshank Redemption
Andy the main character loses his wife, money, job, becomes imprisoned, get repeatedly brutally ganged raped (which thankfully we don’t see), has a good friend shot, and more than once gets beat so bad that he has to be in the infirmary for long periods.
Doesn’t sound like the typical uplifting movie does it? But it is. The thing that makes “The Shawshank Redemption” different is hope, a solid plan and perseverance. I have to admit, Morgan Freeman (one of my favorite actors) being in the movie sure doesn’t hurt the story either!
The Center of the Story
All these bad things that happened to Andy and yet in the end, he ended up free, in paradise with more money than at least the top 2% of the U.S. population for that time period. You’d think being in prison this couldn’t happen to Andy, but in the story it did! You see, Andy was smart and even in prison, he had value.
He displayed this value to one of the officers for a bucket of beer to share with friends while doing a roofing job, and eventually he was doing the tax returns for the entire prison, including the warden. Eventually the warden wanted more from Andy. So Andy started helping the warren to skim off of the top and make it so that the transactions weren’t traceable to the warden!
Then one day, potential evidence come up by another prisoner that Andy was innocent! The warden pissed Andy off by ignoring this information and killing the prisoner that was Andy’s one ticket out of the joint. Andy had a contingency plan, and after a few more months escaped, withdrawing the warren’s corrupt money, and sent the paper work incriminating the warden to various agencies causing the warden to take his own life in the end.
Inspiration from The Shawshank Redemption
- Always look for opportunities, and if they don’t exist make your own, not matter how far-fetched!
- Never give up, even when you are living in hell.
- Always believe in yourself, even when others are saying “No it’s not possible”. Or tell you to give it up.
- Focus on your main plan and have a contingency plan! Meticulously work away at it a small bites (or rock chips) at a time!
- Make friends, and have a good support system. It doesn’t have to be huge, just big enough to get accomplished what you are striving to do.
- Respect others, no matter what their educational, social or intelligence levels. They can still be beneficial to you in ways unforseen and you can benefit them too. Not to mention having fun times sometimes.
- Give the above line, still try to find a group with similar thoughts and ambitions.
- Sometimes you can make change happen just be being sociable and taking intelligent risks. But it can be dangerous (Andy almost got thrown off of a roof), but when you don’t have much to lose, it could be well worth it!
- Andy is the proverbial turtle (albeit with a ball and change attached) in a race with a bunch of invisible, free hares. Andy found a short cut that enabled him to beat the hares he never sees. Sometimes, being unconventional works, if it makes sense and you continually work at it.
- Hope and a solid plan can make a huge difference as you go thru life. Make the best of it even when the setting is less than optimal.
The Shawshank Redemption, the Perfect Personal Finance Story
Everybody love “Fight Club” (including me), but while a great story, that’s not the answer and if it ever did happen, we all would suffer greatly for it.
No so with the Shawshank story!!!
You see, indirectly, The Shawshank Redemption is about financial freedom! The main character goes through hell, but through paying attention and taking advantages of opportunities (and seeking out those opportunities), Andy escape from prison and become financially independent.
Yes, it’s an unconvential way to become financially independent, but isn’t the path of entrepreneurship the same kind of unconventional road?
There are similarities between us working stiffs stuck in a cubicle, or an assembly line, or whatever and the prisoners being in prison!
Even the example of Brooks demonstrates Andy’s superior financial acumen! Brooks just kind of drifted through prison not trying to improve anything including himself, much like many of us do in our working lived. We do the status quo and just skim by. Eventually he retires from the prison, and then retires from life. Sad, but similar to many that retire later in life and just fade away.
But Andy had a contingency plan, one that enabled him to escape from prison and become financially independent.
If you’ve seen the movie, do you see any similarities be Andy’s story and becoming financially independent? Or am I in left field on this one?
To read about The Shawshank Redemption – Lessons Learned, clicking here.