Life's Greatest Lesson in Tuesdays With Morrie
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"To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time.
That's better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life
while you're living" (81).
Tuesdays with Morrie
is a real story
of Mitch Albom and his blooming
relationship with his mentor and retired professor, Morrie Schwartz in
the months before Morrie's death. Morrie's fantastic ideas and
struggle for survival has inspired many readers through Albom's
account of Morrie's last thoughts and philosophies. Morrie was not
only a professor, but also a writer and an inspirational speaker until
he was too weak to do so any longer. Morrie's story teaches readers
some of the greatest lessons one can learn in their life.
Mitch Albom had no idea what to expect in his years following his
college graduation. He did, however, promise his favorite professor,
Morrie Schwartz, that he would never loose touch. Nearly two decades
later, now a middle-aged, successful sports journalist, Albom had lost
touch with all of his college friends and most importantly, his
professor. As he watched a television news
program one night from his
Detroit home, he saw a special on Morrie, who had developed
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Albom knew that the time had come
to go back to his professor. From that day on, Albom spent each
Tuesday with Morrie until his death six months later. "We're Tuesday
people," he [Morrie] said (26). Even back in the days before Morrie's
illness, Albom would visit Morrie on Tuesdays, to discuss school or
edit his thesis paper. The tradition carried on through the years.
With Albom's weekly visits, he learns some of the life lessons that no
one could teach. Each week was a new class for Albom's self growth;
however, the demise of Morrie would make this the last class he ever
"Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a
substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying,
when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the
feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have"
I believe that the concept that no amount of power or money will make
someone happy is one of the best in the book. Because this is almost
like a biographical look at someone who is not rich or famous,
Morrie's story hit me closer to home than reading a rags-to-riches
tale of Marilyn Monroe. Morrie is someone that everyone can relate to.
Most people spend their entire lives searching for happiness, in
material possession or failed romance. People always want to be
something they are not. Adults want to be young. Teenagers want to
adults. Senior Citizens wish they could go back to the time they were
just a year over the hill. Morrie teaches the reader that death is
natural and life always comes full circle. Morrie asserts that you are
dependent on your parents when you are a baby and through aging, once
again become fully dependent on family in the last years of one's
"He smiled. "You know what that reflects? Unsatisfied lives. 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 moreâ€¦If you're always battling against getting older,
you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow"
The reader can take so much out of Morrie's words. The advice to live
life to the fullest is something that most every adult says to a
teenager. Morrie's words affected me much more than if my mother were
to say it to me. Knowing that Morrie, a dying man, is looking back on
his entire life and drawing conclusions from experience, gives me a
feeling of trust in him. I believe that, although adults and the
elderly would also enjoy Tuesdays with Morrie, the target audience
should be young adults and teenagers. I took many ideas about culture
and life from Albom's experience. Albom writes about his own growth
from the beginning of his time with Morrie. By the time he is taught
life lessons from Morrie, he is already a jaded and business- hardened
man. If a younger audience can read Morrie's theories on life, then
perhaps they will be affected now, instead of having to soften
themselves after the real world had forced them into a shell, like
Albom experienced after college. This would also be a good story for
some one who had recently lost a loved one to terminal illness because
Morrie emphasizes that although he was in pain, he was dying
peacefully. Knowing that a loved one died peacefully may put the minds
of some at ease.
"It's the same for women not being thin enough, or men not being rich
enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't
believe it" (155).
Morrie was completely against conformity to society. He did not see
anything wrong with being number two, instead of number one. He had no
shame, as he became ill, to have someone maintain his most private
ordeals. Having someone else wipe him after using the "commode" was a
sign of weakness he could not hide. As his disease withered him away,
he had no choice but to go down proudly with his ALS. Although
frustrated with his weakness and coughing spells, Morrie never let his
depressed show to his visitors. He let his emotions run free, but
always kept a positive attitude until his dying day. If a dying man
can stay so happy and positive, I wonder why people in our world can't
be more like Morrie is. Our world would be a much better place.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is a true depiction of the place a
person goes before they die. Morrie was able to communicate the
process to us through Albom's documentation because of a horrible
disease with no cure and a slow dying process. Morrie let go of all
his inhibitions when he was forced to depend fully on his loved ones.
However, Morrie never gave up hope that his story would inspire
others, as it did Albom. Morrie Schwartz was a teacher to the very
end. In Tuesdays with Morrie, he shares his lesson plan with us all to
teach us the greatest life lessons of all.