Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’

Andy Dufresne

Andy Dufresne shared this sentiment with his good friend Red in the days before he escaped from Shawshank prison, serving time for an act he did not commit.

Many of us feel as Andy felt…as though we are serving time for acts we did not commit….for a careless mistake long ago…for some minor misstep along life’s path….for an injustice brought upon us by others….for a painful heartache that was visited upon us randomly.

It’s a simple choice really….get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’….there is no standing still….there is no treading water….your arms grow tired…weary…quickly…you either sink or swim…your choice.

My family rolls their collective eyes…increases the density of their listening filter…whenever they sense I am about to share, once again, one of my signature “dad”isms…THERE IS NO STATUS QUO!! Status quo is defined simply as the current situation: the way things are now. We all inherently know that in 5 minutes things will never be the same. Something will happen that is completely out of our control…random…that could have a profound effect on the next 5 minutes or perhaps the rest of your life.

There are times when truly wonderful things happen…children are born…love birds fly as one…humanity advances….enemies become friends…your family etches a loving memory in a time capsule that is indelible.

There are times when unthinkably horrific things happen…children are abused…love birds fly apart….humanity retreats…friends become enemies…your family is torn to shreds by a personal affront that is seemingly unforgivable (sidebar: Although not forgettable, EVERYTHING is forgivable).

What do you do when horrific things happen? Do you wallow about in your own self-pity? Do you become restless and irritable? Do you worry yourself into a state of depression and call your doctor for the latest and greatest meds?

Or do you accept the reality and build a stronger foundation? Do you willingly realize that what happened wasn’t visited upon you personally…that your circumstances are just your circumstances at present? Do you give thanks for the adversity knowing it will give a potent relativity to the wonder?

There is no status quo…we are either advancing or retreating…there is no standing still…no treading water.

It’s a simple choice really…get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’…

What do you choose?

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3 thoughts on “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’”

  1. Shawshank is one of my all-time favs and I live by the get busy livin motto. I, as many, feel like I was charged with something that although I was a part of it, I have forgiven the other parties but forgiveness is not reciprocated…something I cannot control so I got busy livin, not drowning in self pity. My kids always heard me say, ‘dont settle for mediocre or the status quo…set your sights higher. Time spent in maintaining the status quo is lost forever so get busy livin’!

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