tuesdays with Morrie
an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson
Some books don’t take very long to read but they make a lasting impact on the reader. Tuesdays With Morrie is a favourite of mine and one I go back to time and time again.
The author, Mitch Albom, got a second chance to learn about the important lessons in life from his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz. Their relationship was rekindled unexpectedly when Mitch caught sight of his old mentor while flicking through TV channels. Morrie was dying from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) but was ‘enjoying’ mini stardom resulting from sharing some ‘bite sized philosophies about living with death’s shadow’.
Mitch was inspired to re-connect with his old ‘coach’ and the book takes us on an emotional journey of deep conversations between the two, over a number of short months together. The topics they touched on include death; fear; ageing; greed; marriage; family; success; forgiveness and a meaningful life.
This beautiful book reminds us that not everyone that comes into our life will change who we are, but some do. In the journey of life, we meet guides, mentors, teachers. We don’t always realise it at the time but they have their arm around us, gently moving us forward while always having our back.
This book also shines a light on the power of heart-to-heart, courageous and compassionate conversations. It reminds us how important it is to take the time to love, to listen, to laugh and to learn together, before it’s too late.
Despite his cruel and progressive illness, Morrie decided that the final course he would teach would be ‘how to live while dying and how to do it with dignity, with courage, with humour and with composure’. Mitch gladly accepted the one and only place on this course and that decision was life changing.
Most of us are fortunate enough not to be living with a terminal illness but that doesn’t mean that some of us are not dying inside. Morrie saw this. He told Mitch:
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they are busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning in your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning”.
Wise words indeed. Thank you, Morrie, a teacher to the last! A wonderful book with timeless life lessons.