‘When misfortune commits a crime, there is a life sentence in the form of uncertainty.’

We all get stuck at some point in our lives. Be it financial emergencies, health emergencies, or something unprecedented like losing a loved one even before making a confession of remorse for the misunderstandings that arose in the sky of relationships. Getting stuck due to external factors like someone’s opinion about you, conspiracy, jealousy, trying to fix someone at the cost of sacrificing our self respect, opening a door for someone who is not even standing at the door, walking miles for someone who has not even stepped out of their home for you, and having good intentions for someone who does not even bother to appreciate your existence. In the same way, feeling trapped due to internal factors includes mental health issues, inability to know your worth in a world where the majority of people are doing transactions of relationships at the cost of instant gratification, low self-esteem, faulty perception of the world, pessimistic approach towards life, you name a voice coming from inside which doesn’t allow you to cross barriers of your “conscience”, be it anything. If you feel this is something which is bothering me right now, irrespective of its validity to justify the aftermath of what if? That something has to be addressed at any cost. 

Andy Dufresne was sentenced to life in Shawshank Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover. As per Andy, he was innocent. Andy waited patiently for years. Be it writing weekly letters to the state legislature about improving a prison library or befriending Red, an inmate who helped him get a rock hammer and one poster, he was calm and composed while taking any initiative. He dug a tunnel with his hammer over the past 19 years, too, with consistent efforts through a wall in his cell, using a poster as a safety guard to protect his years of hard work. 

For Andy, external factors like inability to prove his innocence, his fate at the prison, and solitude forced by the walls of his cell were there. There might have been many internal factors which were acting like an erupting volcano, but he was calm and composed till he crawled out of the sewage pipe at the end.

Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. There is always a way out if we maintain our calm. No matter how tough situations are, there is always a friend like Red in your life who will help you unconditionally. 

The past two years have not been kinder to all of us in some or other form, be it losing a loved one in a pandemic, facing a situation that was tough to handle, or battling through mental health challenges and emerging as a champion. I offer my sincere praise to all my friends for making it through the tunnel of unpredictability and walking like a free man now. I know, it was tough.

I hope 2022 will be kinder to you in all the forms. Even if it fails to impress you due to “a number of factors,” do not lose hope at any cost. Like Andy said,

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

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