Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom is a story of the love between a man and his college professor, Morrie Schwartz. This is a true story which captures the compassion and wisdom of a man who only knew good in his heart. A man who lived his life to the fullest, even until the very last breath of his happily fulfilled life. It is a story of a special bond of friendship that was lost for many years, but never forgotten and simply picked up again at a crucial time of both Morrie’s and Mitch’s lives.
When Morrie learned that he had only a few months to live with the deadly disease of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Morrie began the last class of his life with Mitch – life’s greatest lesson. Throughout the last fourteen weeks of Morrie’s life, Mitch met with him every Tuesday to learn and understand all the wisdom and lessons of life that were within Morrie. Their weekly routine consisted of lunch and lecture. These meetings included discussions on everything from the world when you enter it to the world when you say goodbye. The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and how to let it come in. ” (p. 52) This was Morrie’s first life lesson about the world. His response comes from answering Mitch’s question about how someone could care for people whom they don’t even know. While it is a fairly simplistic thought; being able to give out and receive love. It is what a good majority of people have yet to fully learn. When one imagines a peaceful world without war, you generally are thinking about people loving and respecting one another.
Therefore I believe that Morrie is dead on when he says that is one of life’s lessons that people need to learn. “Not everyone is so lucky. ” (p. 57) The second lesson Morrie had taught Mitch was about feeling sorry for one’s self. This is a rather surprising life lesson as, Morrie, with his ALS weakening him each day, has been able to notice that while he has it bad, there are others who have it worse. What Mitch doesn’t realize when Morrie first says this, was that Morrie has all that he needs; people to talk to.
This life lesson is important in the way that it teaches you to appreciate the things you have and to not worry about the things you don’t have. Most people use the example of Americans who have a lot of food, but are wasteful and often throw it out, opposed to other countries in the world such as those in Africa. “The Culture doesn’t encourage you to think about such things until you’re about to die. We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks–we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going.
So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing? ” (p. 64) The third Tuesday brings on a discussion about regrets. Mitch at the time had one regret in particular and that was the fact that he hadn’t come to visit Morrie sooner. Regrets often become present when one makes a decision which isn’t one they aren’t always satisfied with. I am constantly filled with regrets because I am the type of person who has to think everything over before I even consider acting upon anything. However, regrets generally bring up the question of, ‘what if… The way I see it, regrets are somewhat pointless because half the time you cannot act upon them because what is done is done. It’s all just in the past. This reminds me of a famous quote from Kung Fu Panda, “You are too concerned with what was and what will be. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. ” “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. ” (p. 82) Week four of their class brought up the discussion of death. Morrie mentions that once you realize you are going to die you see things differently. I agree with him because to me, you must always live in the moment.
Morrie talks about the people being sleepwalkers in life because they do the same repetitive stuff they think society wants them to do. When in actuality, you are only living when you take the time to realize the significance of what you are doing. “This is part of what a family is about, not just love, but letting others know there’s someone who is watching out for them. ” (p. 92) Five weeks into the class. Morrie decided to bring up the subject of family. Morrie feels quite strongly about this one because he had lost his mother when he was just a boy and in sense, lost what he calls, “Spiritual security. He wanted to bring the importance of being there for your family as it is in a sense your backbone. While I strongly agree with Morrie on families importance, not everyone is so lucky to experience this. It is probably for this reason Morrie has become the person he is. His father was never that supportive of him. Which meant he had to learn most of these things himself at a young age. Morrie however has passed these lessons on to his sons, unlike his father had done for him. “But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.
You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment. ” (p. 104) Morrie getting frailer each meeting, decided it was time to teach Mitch about emotions. One of the main emotions he discussed was fear. Mainly because as humans, we generally fear death. It is for this reason many of us tend to ignore that emotion completely. For instance, when you’re young you don’t think about things like, what if today is my last day.
You must allow yourself to take hold of the emotion and learn to completely comprehend the emotion and how it affects you. Then and only then will you be able to successfully detach yourself form the emotion which lay within you. “Lives that haven’t found meaning. Because if you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. ” (p. 118) With the seventh Tuesday came the discussion about the fear of aging. When you are young the oldest you want to get is the age at which you first become an adult and no more.
What I don’t get is why, nowadays anyone would be scared of growing older. What is to fear about growing older besides change in appearance and health. With todays modern technology the average life expectancy is steadily increasing. Who could forget the fact that plastic surgery allows anyone to look whatever age they want whenever they want. While I am still young, the only reason I can see myself wanting to stay the same age is the mental feel of not having to worry about everything. I don’t have to worry about owning a house yet, paying for a car, starting a family, etc. Other than that, I am ready to be rid of my youth. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. ” (p. 125) On the eighth Tuesday Morrie and Mitch were talking about money. People believe to be successful you must have a lot of money and be able to buy all the material goods. Morrie disagrees with that and will not buy a single material good. While I agree with Morrie on the fact material goods don’t mean that you’re successful or rich, but that those who have knowledge and those that have friends and loved ones are indeed “rich. ” “Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone. ” (p. 33) Morrie’s ninth life lesson was about on going love. I strongly agree with him. Whether it is a family member or a friend, it is the loving memories that keep that person alive. As long as you remember the good and bad times you had they will always be with you. This is why at funerals, they always say stories about their loved ones whom have passed. They wish to keep the memory of that person alive so all can benefit. “Love each other of perish. ” (p. 149) Though these are not Morrie’s words exactly, he borrows them from a poem to use for his tenth life lesson about marriage.
While the fact that the word perish sounds a bit extreme to me, it does seem to make sense that in a marriage why bother even getting married if you do not love each other. This goes back to being able to give and receive love. For me, a better word to substitute perish would be divorce. “The big things–how we think, what we value–those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone–or any society–determine those for you. ” (p. 155) On the eleventh Tuesday Morrie tells Mitch a life lesson on our culture. Many people like to follow trends set by society as to be able to fit in better.
No one likes to be different and seen differently from another person. It is for this reason that sometimes you hardly see any variation in a society. I agree strongly with Morrie. You alone have to choose what values are important to you, no one else can do that for you. Sometimes you may end up with similar values to another person, but it just means you are alike in what you see as important. “Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others. ” (p. 164) Twelve weeks into the class and Morrie is withering away, he teaches Mitch of forgiveness.
Yet another thing many of us would see as simple, yet we ignore it because of its simplicity. I know for one I have never really forgiven myself for any of the small mistakes I have made in my life. The reason you forgive yourself first is so that you are then restored and then are able to forgive others like you forgave yourself. Forgiving other people takes a sort of weight off your shoulders; it especially takes weight off when you forgive yourself. In this way, I believe it is an important lesson. Morrie had lived for fourteen weeks since he became reunited with his former student Mitch.
While there were numerous quotes that could have been taken for life lessons, these are the ones that stood out to me as I read. I am not one to call myself a fan of reading, however this book had managed to grab my attention long enough that I was able to finish it in one sitting. I would not call myself a huge fan of the book, but I did enjoy the fact it made me think about my own life and what I find important to me. To me, Morrie was a good hearted guy his whole life, he was wise beyond his age, and he was a people person till the end.