As a man serving out a life sentence in The Shawshank Redemption, ‘Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman) is far from your average inmate. Cautious and well-spoken, Red offers many on the inside what they lacked themselves: perspective. When he befriends a new prisoner serving back-to-back life sentences, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), the two form a lasting friendship. But while Andy’s intelligence and gumption defined him, it’s the thoughtful counsel of Red, backed by his years of experience, that helps him through his years of imprisonment. Every now and then, we all need a little perspective to help us carry on. For moments like those, let these Red quotes be your guide.
“It was outdoor detail — and May is one damn fine month to be working outdoors.”
It’s important to always try and make the most of your situation, and very few were better at that than Red. When it comes time to tar the prison roof, Red jumps at the chance to maneuver him and his buddies into some outdoor work, especially since it occurs during the month of May, one of the best months to be outside. Even if your situation doesn’t seem to be changing all that much, it’s important to take solace in the little things as they come. Like Red says, those few moments drinking icy-cold, Bohemian-style beer made him and his fellow inmates feel like they were “the lords of all creation.” A quaint reminder that whatever your circumstance, it’s only as good as you choose to see it.