Tuesdays with Morrie is a story of how real-ilfe Professor Morrie Schwartz taught and changed the world until his last breath. At an old age, Morrie fell into illness that attacks the neurological system of the body called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. The author, Mitch Albom, describes the illness as melts your nerves and leaves your body a pile of wax. A person could be alive and breathing, probably can still blink, but can no longer move his body.
It's unfortunate that he fell sick. I have imagined him still teaching and preaching until this day. The author and Morrie meets on Tuesdays as they are Tuesday people. They regard this book as their final thesis. The lessons were done only in fourteen Tuesdays. You might ask why is the book so important for Morrie? Because for Morrie, it is only when you stop giving will you die. For him, giving ourselves away our stories, love, time, is the purpose of life.
Morrie talked about Feeling Sorry for Yourself, Regrets, Death, Fear, Aging, Greed, Marriage, Family, Society, Forgiveness, Meaningful Life. Here are some gems that I took:
- The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it.
- To believe that you're going to die and be prepared for it at any time is the key to living. That's how you can actually be more involved in your life while you're living.
- Learn to detach. Let the experience penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it. Say, "Okay I know the feeling of grief now, let me put it aside because I know there are other emotions too that I need to feel".
- Aging is not just decay. It's growth. 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.
- If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.
- I especially like Morrie's view of aging: "How can I be envious of where you are - when I've been there myself? The truth is, part of me is every date. I'm a three-year-old, I"m a five-year-old, I'm a thirty-seven-year-old. I've been through all of them, and I know what it's like. I delight in being a child when it's appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it's appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of allI can be! I am every age, up to my own."
- Having more money is a dictate of the world. They brainwash you. The truth is, you don't get satisfaction from those things. What gives satisfaction is by offering others what you have to give - your time, concern, storytelling.
- Be fully present. When I'm talking to you, I am thinking about you.
- About marriage, if you don't respect the other person, if you don't know how to compromise, if you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, and if you don't have a common set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. The biggest value? The belief in the importance of your marriage.
- The problem with human beings is our shortsightedness. We don't see what we could be be. We should be looking at our potential, stretching ourselves into everything we can become.
- There's no point of keeping vengeance or stubbornness or pride. Forgive others but also forgive yourself. Forgive ourselves for the wrong we did and the things we didn't do.
Have you had a teacher who touched your life like Morrie did? I have. She believed in me when no teacher had even when I thought my parents didn't. She believed in my capability and potential. She gave me courage and self confidence. Come to think of it, I haven't really thanked her enough. Maybe I should give her a call today.
To Morrie, A Teacher to the Last! Cheers!