Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie is a non-fiction book that contains 192 pages. According to Amazon, it has been termed as a biographical, philosophical novel and a memoir. The story is based on the author’s reunion with Professor Morrie Schwartz who eventually teaches him the most important lessons on life.

The story revolves around the strong relation between a particular student and Professor Morrie Schwartz who taught sociology at Brandies University, Waltham, Massachusetts. The professor is described as fond of partying and dancing.  In August 1994, he is diagnosed with an incurable neurological disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  This disease brings an end to professor’s fun filled actively such as partying and dancing. The author despite having promised his professor on his graduation day of staying in contact fails to do so one night while changing TV channels, he comes across Morrie being interviewed by Ted Koppel.

Through the interview Mitch learns about his Professor’s health and decides to pay him a visit.

Morrie welcomes him very warmly on the Orientation Day which in fact is the beginning of their last course. This class took place after breakfast every Tuesday and the subject under discussion was The Meaning of Life. The lectures were based on Morrie’s own life experiences. One must read and try to practice Morrie’s teachings as I believe that it can help us in becoming good persons. The author would travel to Boston every week to attend this class till Morrie’s death.

 Quotations from the book

Following is an extract from Morrie’s teachings that has inspired me to change my thinking.

  • “Everybody knows we are going to die but nobody believes it. If we did we would do things differently.”

Isn’t it true? Don’t we all know that one day the time period allotted to us will come to an end and we will begin what is known as the life after death? If we all know this, then why are we doing all the things that we should avoid? We all know the qualities of a good human being yet we spend our lives having a materialistic approach. Acquisition of wealth often becomes the primary goal of our lives. We our are easily troubled with thoughts like, “If I don’t have a good car what will people say?” or “What will my friends think if I don’t wear a diamond necklace to the coming party?” Have we ever thought of how we can help somebody going through a difficult situation or if there is somebody who we haven’t forgiven yet? We are so busy in materialistic thinking that we do not think about what we need to do in order to have a nice and peaceful life after death.  A peaceful life after death is based the decisions we make and the actions we take during our limited stay on the earth. We should forgive others considering the fact the God himself is forgiving.

  • “Why are we embarrassed by silence? What comfort do we find in all the noise?”

When we are driving and we are all alone, it is very common that we will turn on the radio. Why do we turn on the radio? Why can’t we spend some time thinking? Why can’t we spend some time considering the all the gifts that God has blessed us with? There is so much to think and appreciate if we look around our surroundings yet we have made noise our friend and comforter which stop’s us from thinking.

“Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness.”

This quotation again refers to the materialistic approach of people nowadays. If you are financially strong, you have respect. If you are not, there is little or no respect. The times when a person was given respect because of his noble background are gone.

  • “This is how you start to get respect, by offering something that you have.”

Giving is not always restricted to helping someone financially.  Sometimes all a person needs is some time from you to listen to him so that he can unburden his heart. Sometimes a person needs a sincere advice. Sometimes only a smile is needed.

  • “People are only mean when they are threatened.”

Often times we feel that a particular person around us is competitive hence he is posing a threat to our status or position. Consequently we feel and become very aggressive.

  • “Because when you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You can see more, do more”

When you find out the purpose of your life and you have a goal to achieve, you then want to work harder for the completion of that goal.  You would work to achieve your target rather than stepping back for example if you want to become a doctor then hard work I required on your part.

Tuesdays with Morrie is an interesting book with a simple style of writing.  The story proceeds in chronological order and flashbacks have been used to give background information about Morrie. The picture of death portrayed in this book is not sugar-coated.

The book’s content is very meaningful therefore I would suggest everyone at the age of 15 and above to read it because teaches important lessons on life. I believe that by applying Morrie’s lessons in our lives we can make this world a peaceful place.

By Mitch Albom

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