“Tuesday’s with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

Tuesday’s with Morrie book has changed my perspective of looking, thinking, and understand the concept of life. This book has inspired many people, and now it has educated me with the lessons of life. In the book, the author Mitch talks about how he would keep in touch with the professor Morrie, and how he lost contact (Albom, 2007, p.14).

Sometimes, I do wonder that I have different professor for my classes in college. I get attached to the professor, and suddenly another semester I have a new professor. I wish I could keep in touch with all, life goes on and everyone gets busy. When I moved to United States two and half years ago, I have lost contact now of my high school teachers, friends, and also some of my family members. This event made me realize that how busy I have become in my daily routine that I do not contact my family members often. I am raised by my parents, I only meet my grandparents during festivals. My cousins share a good bond with my grandparents. I remember when my grandfather was in his last stage, he was in hospital for about twenty days and I use to go see him every day during his time there.

As Morrie said, There are some mornings when I cry and cry and mourn for myself (Albom, 2007, p.21). However, in a similar way I remember how I use to cry when my grandfather was in hospital and just praying god to let him live more. It was a tough situation for the family. I may be dying, but I am surrounded by loving, caring souls. How many people can say that? (Albom, 2007, p.36). I have learned from this book and I am unhappy in many ways. I have realized from Morrie, that how patience is important, and living each day as if it was your last. When Morrie was diagnosed with ALS, doctor showed him to count numbers when inhaled air (Albom, 2007, p.37). When Morrie knew he was dying, he focused more on people around him instead of the fact dying (Albom, 2007). Because of Morrie, it reminded me how living every day and waking up in the morning with a new opportunity is a blessing for us. We as humans tend to forget about the little things that are important. When my grandfather was in the hospital, he was diagnosed with kidney disease. He was happy being surrounded by whole family, and everyone taking care of him. Morrie was meeting Mitch every Tuesday, and all the lessons they shared were deeply connected to life (Albom, 2007, p.45). I feel like keeping this book forever and find solutions when I am in a tough situation. I believe that Morrie had knowledge of every event that occurs in one’s life. Morrie’s health was getting worse every day, the point came where he could only speak. But all he wanted was to educate people about life. Morrie talked about the death during fourth Tuesday with Mitch (Albom, 2007, p.81). He talked a lot about death, and how we look at death from that place.

My grandfather death was shocking for us because he has been healthy all his life, he was walking, talking, and he was 70yrs when he died. After reading this book, I contact my grandmother very often, she is sick, and I am hoping to see her in summer 2019. According to Morrie, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. (Albom, 2007, p.82). For eleventh Tuesday Morrie talked about our culture, (Albom, 2007, p.152). He said that people get threatened when they are mean, and this is what our culture does to people. Even though you have a job, or money you still think about losing it and you become selfish. Morrie explained Mitch that you can build your own subculture by not breaking rules of community but changing the way of thinking. We have to appreciate things around us. I am from a culture where there are so many rules and values we have to follow. I learned from this book, that I can choose myself what we value (Albom, 2007, p.155).

Moreover, I believe most of them does not think about dying and death until they have experienced an event that is close to death. I am one of them, but this book has changed my vision. Growing up, I knew that death is sudden, you never know if you will wake up tomorrow or not. I am going to suggest all the people whom I know is close to death, to read this book. It motivates a person that every stage is a lesson to learn from life. To conclude, Tuesday’s with Morrie has changed my view about the life. It showed me how to value little things and love each other. I am planning to contact my friends, family, and teachers to ask them about their health and try to be in touch. This book has given me so much information, that I am happy to share with others. I will look at my shoulder and as if there is a little bird sitting, I will ask myself if I am satisfied with what I am doing or not. I believe Morrie’s wish came true, when he wanted people to listen his lessons on life.

The Theme and Message of “Tuesday’s with Morrie”

This passage in the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie displays Morries thoughts on a subject he is passionate on. The subject that later develops into a theme is that everyone should believe in their own values rather than popular morals. Morrie has a dislike for social networking due to it being an absence of reassurance.

Morrie states And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create Your own. Most people can’t do it.'(Albom 42). This is shown through Morrie because before he was sick , he had his own values such as dancing, and reading. Morrie also feels that if we live off of our own values we can live better lives.Another important belief that Morrie posses is the importance of giving and receiving appreciation. The theme and or message this passage is giving is that it’s better to be arranged to die because it helps you to take full advantage of every moment. In the memoir it states that way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living'(Albom 81). If we are prepared to die, we live our lives with no regret. Knowing that at a certain point in your life you are going to die, helps us to seize every moment we can.

This is supported by the passage by showing what Buddhist do everyday. They ask themselves Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?'(Albom 82). This shows it is important to live every day like it is your last because you don’t know when death is approaching. This is learned through Morrie and seeing what happened to him can happen to anyone.Morrie believes that certain people believe love makes them too affectionate. Love is the only rational act”(Albom 52) is what Morrie recites in saying. Following in the memoir we see that Morrie believes this because of the absence of affection that was in his life as he grew up. His mother passed away when he was very young and his father usually busy with work not being able to appreciate him more. Eva showed Morrie the necessity in love when she appeared in the memoir. Due to this Morrie realized how important giving and receiving love truly is and emphasized as a theme throughout the novel.

The theme and or message this passage is giving is that it’s better to be arranged to die because it helps you to take full advantage of every moment. In the memoir it states that way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living'(Albom 81). If we are prepared to die , we live our lives with no regret. Knowing that at a certain point in your life you are going to die, helps us to seize every moment we can. This is supported by the passage by showing what Buddhist do everyday. They ask themselves Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?'(Albom 82). This shows it is important to live every day like it is your last because you don’t know when death is approaching. This is learned through Morrie and seeing what happened to him can happen to anyone.

Tuesdays With Morrie Paragraphs

Contents

  • 1 Materialism
  • 2 New Friendship
  • 3 Old Friendships
  • 4 Aging
  • 5 Trust

Materialism

“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.” (Pg. 125)

But giving to other people is what makes me feel alive. Not my car or my house.” (Pg. 128)

Morrie Schwartz provides numerous amounts of wisdom regarding materialism in Tuesdays with Morrie. Two of his quotes –– “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,” (Pg. 125) and “But giving to other people is what makes me feel alive. Not my car or my house,” (Pg. 128) –– discuss his theories on this topic significantly. Both of these quotes give off the obvious idea that loathing over material objects and or replacing them with love will never give you a satisfying life. The first quote from Morrie relates the end of his life. He states that as he is dying, he knows in his mind that neither the amount of money he has nor the level of power he holds in the economy are the most important things to think about. Morrie fills the final moments of his life with his loved ones, giving to others, and just investing in people’s lives. Morrie’s second quote talks about what you should replace the want for material items with. He tells Mitch that giving to others is what gives him satisfaction and happiness. Morrie gave advice, wisdom, company, and most importantly, love to everyone he talked to. The joy that it gave others filled Morrie with more joy than any new car or nice suit could have given him. To continue on, the topic of materialism takes place in the sport of cheerleading. On the Norwin high school sideline cheerleading team, pins in the shape of a megaphone are given out during practices and games to the cheerleader(s) that did the best that day. Whoever ends up with the most pins by the end of the season is rewarded with a $50 Visa gift card. This might seem very appealing to most people, but this should never be anyone’s main focus during cheerleading. If you are constantly focused on trying to be better than everyone else just to get a pin, then you will take all of the fun out of cheerleading. You have to remember to have fun with all of your friends while doing the sport that you love. This will give you so much more happiness than the $50 gift card would. The gift card only lasts for a limited time, but memories made when doing all of the aspects of cheerleading that you love with your best friends on the team will stay joyful in your mind forever.

New Friendship

“You live on––in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.” (Pg. 174)

“”In the beginning of life, when we were infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.” (Pg. 157)

In the book Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie talks to Mitch about the concept of new friendships that are created in our lives. He makes two quotes in the story that tie along well with this concept as well. First, Morrie says to Mitch, “You live on––in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here,” (Pg. 174). Morrie’s message clearly goes with remembrance after death. He knows that no one will truly be forgotten if they are involved in other’s lives, even in the smallest way. Morrie was only Mitch’s college professor, but now Mitch will never forget Morrie even after he is long gone. This makes sense with creating new friendships. You can live your entire life alone with no one to talk to, but then make a close friend near the end of your life that you talk to. Even though you may think that your life would not be remembered by anyone, that close friend toward the end will always remember and cherish your moments together. Anyone that you have given advice to, cared for, or even just spent time with for a little bit will remember you because you earned a place in their heart. Even if these people were introduced to you very late and were new. Next, Morrie explains, “In the beginning of life, when we were infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well,” (Pg. 157). This also goes along substantially with new friendships because it explains how important it is to have people you love at every moment in your life. Everyone needs to be cared for as an infant, everyone needs help from others when moving from the teenage years to adulthood, and everyone needs a buddy that they can count on when going through family issues, money problems, career and home life discrepancies, or anything else. However, some people that you have known for your entire life might not be available or fit to help you in these situations. You have to be able to make new friends along the way that you know will always be there for you. The most important thing is not how long you have known the person, but rather how much they are willing to care for you. The concept of new friendships relates well to new teams that you join throughout the sport of cheerleading. I have been on at least 8 different teams of cheerleaders throughout my 7 years of cheerleading. Each one I have loved and enjoyed even more than the last. However, the friends that I made (or that anyone else made) on my very first team have either not continued to cheer or have drifted apart from me. Even though I made very close memories with these people, I have had to create new friendships for every new team that I joined. All of these new friendships are extremely important because they help bring all of the fun into this sport. During this 9th grade year alone, I have made an entirely new group of cheer friends from the high school team that I love spending time with. Without making new friends, you will never remember how much fun you had on the team, just like in real life. You will never remember how much fun you had in life without making new friends to help you along the way.

Old Friendships

“Ted, we’ve had thirty-five years of friendship. You don’t need speech or hearing to feel that.”” (Pg. 71) “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.” (Pg. 162)

Throughout the novel Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie Schwartz discusses the meaning of old friendships. Two quotes that he made shine light on both the importance and downfall of these friendships. First off, the quote, “Ted, we’ve had thirty-five years of friendship. You don’t need speech or hearing to feel that,”” (Pg. 71) talks about the benefits of these old friendships. Anytime you are friends with someone for a long time, you form a unique connection with them. You can tell when they are truly happy or sad, and exactly what to do in those situations. When you are friends with someone for many years, you always know that you can count on that person to talk to, and this gives you all the comfort that you need in tough situations. Next, the quote, “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long,” (Pg. 162) talks about both the importance and the negative aspects of old friendships. Morrie stated that you should not let go too soon for the obvious reasons. Your friends will always be there to care for you and they will give you happiness when you need it in life. However, you have to be able to let go in case they are holding you back. Sometimes the people that you have been with for a long time can make you think that a decision will ruin either your life or your friendship. You have to be able to realize this and know that you can move on from that friend if they are holding you back from a better life. You cannot hold onto someone too long if they are causing you any type of pain. Otherwise, your life and possibly others in it will suffer. To continue, old coaches and old teams in cheerleading relate significantly to old friendships in life. Coaches and teams that you have in prior years of cheerleading are extremely important and special. They teach you the basics whenever you do not know anything so that you can grow and do so many more skills in stunting, tumbling, etc. Although they help you progress, you have to know when to move on. Moving up from easier teams in order to learn more is just like moving on from old friends who are holding you back from large opportunities in life. You have to know when you are ready to advance your learning, even if it means moving on from people that are important to you.

Aging

“As you grow you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two.” (Pg. 118) “If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.” (Pg. 119)

The topic of aging was discussed numerous times by Morrie Schwartz in Tuesdays With Morrie. Morrie says two important quotes that discuss this topic profoundly. To start, Morrie says to Mitch, “As you grow you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two,” (Pg. 118). To explain, with age brings knowledge. Everyone looks back at when they were younger and laughs at how much more they have learned over the years, whether it was through experience or other teachers. Staying at one age will never benefit you, even if you think it is the greatest year of your life. Next up, Morrie explains, “If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow,” (Pg. 119). Morrie’s message through this quote is about positivity throughout life. Everyone grows older, it’s a part of nature. The key to accepting this is knowing the beneficial outcomes of growing older. You obviously gain more knowledge and experience, but you also gain new relationships with people. All of these aspects create happiness, so you will not achieve happiness if you are constantly sad about aging. Finally, in cheerleading, the tumbling relates to aging for several reasons. Just like how aging in life gives you more knowledge over time, aging in tumbling gives you more skills and better technique. With more time and practice, everyone has better tumbling than they did when they first started cheerleading. It is all about getting better over time. Similar to Morrie’s second quote, if you are not willing to try to progress with your tumbling by practicing over time, then you will never gain happiness from earning more skills or perfecting your current ones. As they say, practice makes perfect, but practice takes time and patience is key. It will benefit you in the end.

Trust

“But the poor kids today, either they’re too selfish to take part in a real loving relationship, or they rush into marriage and then six months later, they get divorced.” (Pg. 148)

“If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.” (Pg. 149)

In the novel Tuesdays With Morrie, trust between others in life is talked about in various ways, especially in two quotes that Morrie Schwartz makes about marriage. First up, when Morrie talks about Mitch’s generation, he says, “But the poor kids today, either they’re too selfish to take part in a real loving relationship, or they rush into marriage and then six months later, they get divorced,” (Pg. 148). When talking about making relationships with other people, you always have to consider your trust with them. Morrie made this clear with the topic of marriage. The people in Mitch’s generation were so forced to get married to another person that they never took the time to stop and make sure that they trusted the other person in every good or bad situation. Thus, ending in a divorce. Next, the quote “If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble,” (Pg. 149) discusses some specifics about trust. When you talk to someone about personal topics or issues, you obviously have to trust them in some way. Otherwise, you would not want that person to know your weak point or think of you poorly. The fact that Morrie stated marks a clear sign of trust. You would automatically know if you trusted someone if you knew you could talk to them about your relationship together. If you feared that they would blame you or even broke off the relationship instead of hearing your opinion and trying to work together to solve it, then you obviously do not trust that person. Finally, the trust in real life relationships goes along with stunting in cheerleading, especially between the flyers and the people underneath. You don’t have to know all of the terminology and skills in stunting to know that there has to be a trust between the person in the air and the people putting the girl in the air. If the flyer does not trust the people underneath her, then she will not be willing to try new and harder stunts because of the fear that they will either not do it right or not catch her if she falls. If the bases and back do not trust the flyer, then they will not want to put her in the air based on the fear that she will purposefully fall and possibly hurt the people underneath. You have to make a bond between everyone in the stunt to make sure that everyone knows their part. Everyone has to know what to do and what not to do to make sure nobody physically gets hurt. In real life, you have to trust others in a relationship to make sure nobody gets mentally hurt.

Tuesdays with Morrie: Symbolism

“In the novel, Tuesdays with morrie, there are many important things that symbolize Morries life. Some of these are waves, his bed, food and the hibiscus plant outside his window. The waves represent his fear and understading of death, his bed represents the acceptance of his death, the food represents the time when he was not sick, and the hibiscus plant represents Morrie’s body.

Each of these things have a very powerful meaning to Morrie after he was diagnosed wih ALS because they represent his feelings and his journey through death. These symbols are important to Morries life and to his death.

In the novel, Morrie tells Mitch a story about a wave that saw other waves infront of him crash on the shore. The wave feared hitting the shore and dying; the wave felt better after another wave told him that he will not crash and die on the shore, but he will hit the shore and comeback to become part of something bigger. This wave represents Morries fear of dying, but he is also comforted by something else, his belief of him returning to something larger in the afterlife.The second wave says, ‘No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.’ I smile. Morrie closes his eyes again. Part of the ocean, he says, part of the ocean. I watch him breathe, in and out, in and out. (180) Morrie believes that just like the wave, when he dies he will make part of something bigger than himself. Morrie’s bed is also a very important detail in the story, it represents his acceptance of death.Morrie refuses to stay in bed, so most of the time he is on his chair in his study. He wants to live the days he has left to their fullest and be as happy as he can.””When you’re in bed, you’re dead”” (131).

Morrie beliefs that if he is to stay in bed, he is basically renouncing himself to death by giving up the pleasure he gets from being in his study, where he has memories that remind him of loved ones. He can see the outer world from his study but he cant go out, but he still feels alive in someway, because he is not giving himself up to the bed or death. That is until he gives up and accepts that its time to go to bed and give himself to death.

Tuesdays with Morrie: Themes

Contents

  • 1 Themes
    Life through death
    After Mitch learned about Morrie’s situation, he began to visit him every day on Tuesday. Each visit was like a class and focused on learning about life while facing death. Morrie emphasizes that life is delicate and everyone should spend his life while doing important things like having close friends while loving life and family. He also says that being so close to death is what made him live to the fullest. Morrie says that a better method is to live every moment to its fullest and as if you could die at any time. Morrie also says that he will still be living partially even when he is dead, as the love and memories he gives are what will live on.
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    The rejection of culture in favor of self-created values
    Morrie contributes in a message of rejecting cultural values and instead develop his own. He says that popular culture is authoritarian in which the human community must suffer. Morrie encourages Mitch to free himself from cultural dictatorship which makes people lack happiness in favor of creating his own culture laid on acceptance, love and open communication. The author also creates his own subculture, believing that dependency and physical appearance is nothing to be ashamed of as everyone is the same and thus we should love each other equally although the culture lacked love and made one to feel threatened.
    Acceptance through detachment
    Morrie is able to step out of his physical surroundings into his own state of consciousness for the sake of gaining perspective in a stressful situation. He detaches himself from the experience when he suffers coughing spells and does not intend to stop feeling so. He wants to experience the situation entirely. He practices this often during life-threatening situations because he does not want to die upset or scared. He detaches himself so that he can be able to embrace his death easier since it is approaching and accept the situations in his life. He understands his memories will forever live on in others.
    The Interview

  • 2 Self-Reflection

Themes

Life through death

After Mitch learned about Morrie’s situation, he began to visit him every day on Tuesday. Each visit was like a class and focused on learning about life while facing death. Morrie emphasizes that life is delicate and everyone should spend his life while doing important things like having close friends while loving life and family. He also says that being so close to death is what made him live to the fullest. Morrie says that a better method is to live every moment to its fullest and as if you could die at any time. Morrie also says that he will still be living partially even when he is dead, as the love and memories he gives are what will live on.

The rejection of culture in favor of self-created values

Morrie contributes in a message of rejecting cultural values and instead develop his own. He says that popular culture is authoritarian in which the human community must suffer. Morrie encourages Mitch to free himself from cultural dictatorship which makes people lack happiness in favor of creating his own culture laid on acceptance, love and open communication. The author also creates his own subculture, believing that dependency and physical appearance is nothing to be ashamed of as everyone is the same and thus we should love each other equally although the culture lacked love and made one to feel threatened.

Acceptance through detachment

Morrie is able to step out of his physical surroundings into his own state of consciousness for the sake of gaining perspective in a stressful situation. He detaches himself from the experience when he suffers coughing spells and does not intend to stop feeling so. He wants to experience the situation entirely. He practices this often during life-threatening situations because he does not want to die upset or scared. He detaches himself so that he can be able to embrace his death easier since it is approaching and accept the situations in his life. He understands his memories will forever live on in others.

The Interview

Rosa is a 74-year-old mother and grandmother. She was born October 30, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her father worked for the Norfolk Railway, and her mother was a homemaker. Rosa was the oldest of eight children and they lived in a two bedroom house. She is the aunt of my husband and has always taken a liken to me. So, she didn’t hesitate when I asked if I could interview her. I knew she would speak her mind. She doesn’t really look her age in my opinion (good genes I guess). She graduated from high school in 1962. She worked for Social Security and retired back in 2004. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, as most grandparents do. This interview took place in the comfort of her own home. She was quite nervous. In fact, it took us a few takes to get the interview done.

Before the interview began, I reminded her that she was gorgeous as she complained about not looking her best. We sat at her breakfast bar in the kitchen. I went on to tell her the questions that would be asked. As a child, she remembered the fun games she played. She enjoyed playing in the dirt and making mud pies. It wasn’t a lot of things they could do, but they made the best of it. She went on to explain how they had a funeral for a dead bird that they had found. At that moment I knew she was aware of death. They had an entire funeral service for the bird. Her cousin played the preacher, and they would pray and sing. The term elderly has different meanings for different people. Her response, I don’t feel old. She went on to explain that she really doesn’t know what old feels like. She looks great for her age as compared to others. Her best moment in life was her Sweet Sixteen. She really enjoyed that age. She couldn’t explain the worst thing about her age as she didn’t have any, but the best thing about her age was just being blessed to live this long. She is in great health, and she thanks the Lord for all his many blessings upon her. Being asked about a troubling experience, she became teary eyed. She explained how she lost her only granddaughter at that time. It was heartbreaking and nearly took her away from here. When asked about her faith, she stated prayer was the key to everything. Prayer helped her in so many ways. She leaves all of her cares and worries with the Lord. When asked of regrets or anything she would do over, she stated I wouldn’t change a thing. She has lived a great life and is proud of everything in her life. She has always been a fun and happy person and wants to be remembered as such. In order to live a meaningful life, she would suggest being true to yourself and others. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Growing up, her parents always taught her to be obedient. She learned that obedience will carry you a long way in life. The younger generation could learn a thing or two about being obedient and respectful to others.

Self-Reflection

You can imagine the things you can learn from others when you take the time out to talk with them. If it wasn’t for this assignment, I wouldn’t have asked these questions at all. I was enlightened during this assignment. We should spend more time with our elders as their time could be dwindling down. Mitch made a choice to spend time with Morrie during his last days out of love and compassion. During this process, he learned a lot from Morrie. Happiness is not about wealth or fame, but the love and memories you can give others. This book has given me an understanding of the elderly and gained wisdom to incorporate into my life. I will always live my life to the fullest, and to always create memories with the ones I love. Aunt Rosa has taught me to always be myself in whatever I chose to do. Always be obedient and respectful. I’ve learned from her to be true to myself and others. When it comes to the term old, it’s basically a state of mind. She didn’t think she was old nor did she feel old. She wants to be remembered as being the fun, loving, and happy person that she is. What I will take with me from this assignment is to find happiness with your life because you only get one.

Tuesdays With Morrie Summary

Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie captures the connection between a man and his college professor, Morrie Schwartz. Schwartz”a retired professor of sociology at Brandeis University”was once one of Mitch’s most respected educators. Furthermore, Tuesdays with Morrie was very effective in enlightening me that there are some really amazing people in this world.

I was very moved by the way Mitch presented Morrie. Also, I was inspired by the way that Mitch and Morrie were so quick to rekindle their relationship after sixteen years of no communication. I think that this is a very well written book. I was fascinated by the way the book jumped from past to present, showing how Mitch and Morrie connected when they were younger and how they connected while Morrie lay on his deathbed. I will inform you of the three life lessons that Morrie taught Mitch that spoke to me personally.

Albom takes a unique approach to his narrative” sometimes, he is focused on himself and the weight of Morrie’s lessons and how they changed his existence and path; in other chapters, Albom shifts his tone so that the given lesson strikes the heart of the reader, jumping from the pages and becoming deeply personal to a wider audience. On the Fourth Tuesday, he talks about Death. Both Mitch and Morrie defined death in their own opinions. Morrie states, “”Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live (Albom 82). Morrie repeats this a few times in the chapter speaking directly to Mitch. I think Morrie was speaking with the intention to get Mitch to understand how important this phrase is. I believe this because Mitch says, He was making sure I absorbed this point, without embarrassing me by asking (Albom 82). Morrie wanted Mitch to fully understand his statement. Mitch, on the other hand, states that we kid ourselves about death (Albom 81). He also asks Morrie, How can you ever be prepared to die (Albom 81)? This leads me to believe that Morrie was not afraid of death and Mitch is still frightened at the thought of what’s next in his life after a loved one dies. I know that Mitch loved Morrie so I can only imagine that Mitch had a tidal wave of emotions crashing inside his mind. Because Mitch does not portray his emotions very efficiently he seemed to be quite calm throughout Morrie’s illness. It was only toward the end of the book that Mitch cracked and shed tears for his beloved professor. I felt the same after my grandmother died. I had very mixed emotions when I found out she had passed on. I was distraught, angry, and frightened but I had this eerie sense of clarity. Like Mitch, I was calm when I found out and I think that is because I also do not portray my emotions efficiently. I believe that this connection to the audience’s lives was on purpose.

Additionally, on the Seventh Tuesday, he focuses on the fear of aging. Mitch reflected: “”At seventy-eight, he was giving as an adult and taking as a child”” (Albom 116). Morrie says this to Mitch describing how he went from being able to do everyday chores himself”such as taking out the trash, or checking the mail”to depending on other people. Most of humanity is afraid of dying, so we fill our lives with material items to try and mend the void in our hearts that fear gnaws at. Because we fear aging and withering into nothing we try to put our lives at the edge by doing dangerous acts while in our youth. Based on what I have read in the book, Morrie doesn’t try to fill his life with material objects such as fancy cars, a big house, or the newest clothes. I, too, am pulled into the modern life of envying the people with fancy cars, a big house, and the newest clothes but as Morrie says, Forget what culture says (Albom 116). I believe I should not be afraid of aging because I am only as old as I feel.

Finally, on the Eighth Tuesday, they discussed the limitations of money. Morrie stresses, “”We put our values in the wrong things. And it leads to very disillusioned lives”” (Albom 123-124). He refers to how money cannot buy the character traits that people value in others, such as humility, integrity, honesty, loyalty, and respect. Similarly, Morrie teaches that it is better to do something you love and make less money than it is to make more money and not enjoy what you are doing. Morrie weighs at the thought that our country thinks that more is good. In a deep conversation with Mitch, Morrie says Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good (Albom 124). It is a sad truth that humanity thinks more is better or as Morrie states more is good. I think that people do not need money to be happy. I believe that happiness can be anywhere, happiness is where home is the limitations of money. I believe that I chose these lessons because I have encountered dilemmas with them in my life. As I mentioned earlier, I have encountered death first hand when my grandmother passed on. Just as Mitch felt mournful when Morrie died I, felt sad but calm when my grandmother died. The fear of aging is common in the lives of my peers. I also used to be afraid of aging, but when Mitch asked Morrie how he kept from envying the young, Morrie explained that he is not envious because he has already been there and done that. I agree with Morrie and so I that age is just a number and I am only as old as I feel. My final lesson is the importance of money. I think that it is important to have money but I do not think that it is wise to dedicate an entire life to making money and never spending time with your family. I believe that happiness can be found anywhere happiness is where home is.

Works Cited

Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie: Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Broadway Books, 2017.

Tuesday’s with Morrie: Understanding Dying and Death

There are so many different ways in which society and culture shape the death experience. Not every individual is the same in their beliefs therefore everyone’s dying experience is different. In our American culture, today death is something that is typically feared.

Michael Leming and George Dickson stated in their textbook titled, Understand Death, Dying and Bereavement, that many Americans, however, are afraid of death, violent other otherwise, and see to deny it (Leming, 1985, p. 59). American’s attitudes towards death have changed throughout the years. That change can be attributed to historical events like the Hiroshima and September 11, 2001. Although some Americans may fear death because they are afraid of dying painfully and unexpected, there are some individuals who give death a positive meaning. Timothy Leary stated a few months before his death that he was looking forward to the most fascinating experience in life, which is dying. He said that dying must be approached the way that life is livedwith curiosity, hope, fascination, courage and the help of your friends (Leming, 1985, p. 64).

I feel like Morrie approached death the same way that Timothy Leary did. On the seventh Tuesday of Morrie and Mitch’s meeting Morrie proclaimed to Mitch that as his disease first progressed he felt a little ashamed of having to depend on other people for help because that’s how the culture tells us we should feel but then he stated forget what culture says. I have ignored the culture much of my life. I am not going to be ashamed. What’s the big deal? (Albom, 1997, p.116). I feel that at this point in the novel Morrie is beginning to embrace death with arms wide open. He is no longer ashamed of having someone wipe his behind or massage his legs. Morrie stated that he began to enjoy his dependency, which is something that he had never done before.

I feel like our society and culture tell us that we should be fighters and not just become victims to the illness but sometimes that is not the way things turn out and people need to become accepting of living with a chronic illness and living out the rest of their days enjoying the time spent with family and friends. 2.) Death is not something that many people accept and are willing to embrace. Being on the last great journey can be one of two things, terrifying or promising. In K??bler-Ross’s Five Stages of Dying the last stage, acceptance, is when the patient accepts death as a sure outcome and the patient is able to say, ‘I have said all the words I have to say and am ready to go’ (Leming, 1985, p.159). I think that being on the last great journey is being able to accept that you are dying and to live the rest of your life the best you can. I feel like the only way that people are able to talk about dying openly is if they accept it. It was clear throughout the novel that Morrie had accepted his chronic illness so it was easy for him to talk with Mitch about dying and the lessons he had learned throughout life to prepare him for his final days. Being able to openly discuss what he was going through was one way that Morrie served as a bridge. Morrie stated that people saw him as a bridge. I’m not as alive as I used to be, but I’m not yet dead. I’m sort of in-between (Albom, 1997, p. 32-33). Morrie was able to discuss with Mitch his early year struggles such as the death of his mother and his later life experience such as his career and his marriage. Being able to openly reminisce on the past and to discuss the lessons he learned that prepared him to accept his final moments is life is something that not many people are able to do. Another thing that may contribute to some people feeling more prepared for death in knowing what to pack on their last great journey is their religious beliefs. Christians view death as the entrance to eternal life and, therefore, is preferable to physical life (Leming, 1985, p. 126).

I believe that having such strong religious belief helps some people to cope with death therefore it makes it easier for them to talk about it because they feel that they are going to a place where they can have eternal life which is heaven. Morrie however did not identify with one specific religion instead he believed that when you are dying, you see it as everyone having the same beginning”birth”and having the same end”death (Albom, 1997, p. 157). 3.) Talking about dying is not something that I am particularly comfortable with. Because I am so young I cannot imagine myself leaving this world any time soon. I believe this is the case for younger individuals. Although death can be hard for some younger individuals to imagine, the textbook suggests that death is expected for the elderly person and death is seen as appropriate for very elderly persons who have lived their allotted span of life (Leming, 1985, p. 107). Although death is something that an older individual can often expect, there is no way of knowing how exactly someone is going to die. Death often comes on the doctor’s watch and in high-tech surroundings, almost always following years of chronic illness, typically following decisions about additional medical interventions, often made on behalf of patient’s incapable of making decisions for themselves by caregivers who do not always know how to honor those who have lost their most human qualities (Leming, 1985, p. 107). I feel like this is an accurate representation of how most older individuals think about dying especially in unexpected circumstances. Morrie on the other hand knew what he was up against. He mentioned to Mitch once you learn how to die, you learn how to live (Albom, 1997, p. 82).

It can be difficult for individuals and family members to think have there loved one passing away especially if that family member or loved one is making life altering medical decisions. In some cases, individuals do not prepare for death and so when it comes unexpectedly some may feel like they did not accomplish everything they wished to. Morrie stated that sometimes it is hard to think about dying because most of us walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do (Albom, 1997, p. 83). I think in some cases this holds true for some older adults. They may realize that towards the end of life they were so wrapped up in things such as work that they did not take time to step back and enjoy the little things in life. 4.) Throughout the novel Morrie emphasized how money cannot buy someone happiness. Other things such as family, friends, and other life experiences are what contribute to a person’s happiness. One of life’s greatest lessons that I took from reading this novel was when Morrie told Mitch the story of how he was in the mental health facility and one thing that he noticed about most of the individuals who were in the facility was that many of them were well-off, from rich families, so their wealth did not buy them happiness or contentment (Albom, 1997, p.111). Morrie mentioned that this was a lesson that he would never forget. I believe that this statement holds true because there can be people in this world who have all the money in the but are still unhappy. People need to surround themselves with healthy relationships, loving family members and individuals who encourage them to be the best they can be. I know that being a young college student, I was never able to just go out and buy whatever I wanted but I made the most of life during the past four years and I have been happier than ever.

Morrie also mentioned to Mitch how he believed that there was a form of brainwashing going on in our country (Albom, 1997, p. 124). What he meant by this statement was that people are encouraged to think that more money is good but Morrie seemed to believe the opposite. He stated, you can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship (Albom, 1997, p. 125). In all, I believe the most important lesson throughout this book is the fact that people should slow down and appreciate what life has to offer. People should not be so wrapped up in their jobs and trying to make more money. People should be taking time to appreciate their family members and their friends and they need to take time to experience all that life has to offer and I believe that is exactly what Morrie was trying to indicate to Mitch throughout the time that they spent together. 5.) Morrie mentioned to Mitch that he felt lucky although he knew he was dying (Albom, 1997, p. 118). There are a number of different reasons why Morrie could have said that. One reason that I believe the stated that he felt lucky was because even though he was dying he was still able to live his best life surrounded by the ones he loved. Many individuals who experience the dying process in the American Health System may feel a bit helpless. They are no longer human beings but rather patients. Death is also a difficult decision for some. Because of medical and technological advances some doctors are able to keep individuals alive on ventilators even if their heart is not beating. Many doctors are taught to desensitize death and many doctors may see death as a failure (Leming, 1985, p. 225).

These are some reasons why I believe Morrie felt lucky. Morrie was able to die peacefully in his own home surrounded by his loved ones. Not only was he able to die in his own home but also he knew months before his death that he was going to die so he was able to spend his final moments doing things he loved with the people that he loved. Many people do not get this opportunity. When some people are diagnosed with a terminal illness they are not given months to live so their death comes as a shock for those around them. It is known that many Americans today die in an institutional setting such as hospitals, and nursing homes (Leming, 1985, p. 231). 6.) I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. There were a lot of great lessons that Morrie taught Mitch throughout their time together. After finishing the novel is was difficult for me to decide which lesson stood out the most. There was a particular quote that I happened to highlight while reading. Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning (Albom, 1997, p. 127).

This was a powerful statement made by Morrie. I feel like this quote encompasses everything that a person should live by in their life. In today’s time, it is important for us to love the people around us. With so much suffering going on in the world it is important for us to show light during the darkness. When it comes to dedicating yourself to your community, I feel like that is really important to me as a public health major because I am always looking for different ways that I can help others and I hope to make a future career out of caring for others. And lastly, it is extremely important to find something that gives you meaning in life whether it’s a job or a hobby, everyone deserves to feel like they have a place in this world.

Learning Perspective: The Memoir Genre in “Tuesdays with Morrie”

A memoir is typically a written account of a personal experience. It varies from an autobiography in that it usually focuses on a single, monumental period in the author’s life. When Mitch Albom penned his touching and insightful memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie, he recounted the precious moments that he was able to spend with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, who was also his former mentor with whom he had lost touch. He characterizes in great detail Morrie’s last few months of life as he battled the debilitating and terminal disease ALS. Albom’s account of his reactions and the impressions he draws from his time spent with Morrie provide the reader with a clear image of who he is as the narrator. Mitch Albom’s use of extreme detail and imagery to promote meaning, his unique writing structure and the in-depth reflections he weaves throughout this story are particularly effective in conveying just how profound a time this was for him, deeming this a legitimate memoir, appropriately centered around a man who impacted him tremendously

Mitch Albom quickly establishes the fact that Morrie is quite ill and approaching death. In fact, within the first line of the memoir he explains, “the last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house,” alluding to Morrie’s impending death (17). A short time later, in chapter two, Albom reveals that Morrie’s “death sentence came in the summer of 1994” (20). This introduction is abrupt and unusual. Rather than beginning the story with his childhood or young adult life, Albom chooses to begin at a much later point in his life—the end of his professor’s life. Opening the memoir with Morrie’s illness is an effective use of the literary technique in medias res, as it immediately places the reader in the heart of the story. The audience’s awareness of Morrie’s predicament, his fleeting life, allows them to experience the same sense of desperation and urgency Mitch does.

Mitch Albom consistently presents extensive details and strong imagery to the reader, effectively generating sympathy and a deep emotional connection to Morrie, Mitch, and the relationship they share. At the same time, Albom’s pervasive use of imagery allows the reader to relate to the severity of the situation. ALS is first presented as a serious disease that progressively worsens over time. This condition is gradual, and Albom’s descriptions of it mimic the progression of the disease. Each chapter reveals a new aspect of the disease, an element not previously apparent, creating for the audience the sense of living these challenges right alongside Morrie and providing a true connection to the author’s own experience as he observed Morrie’s deterioration over time. At the beginning of the memoir, Morrie’s struggles are minimal but apparent. He “kept tripping so he purchased a cane. That was the end of his walking free” (23). Later, “he hired his first home care worker (…) that was the end of his privacy” (33). Mitch Albom writes of these trials in order of occurrence. Rather than stating all of the hardships Morrie faced in his life, Albom presents them to the reader as they happen, allowing each challenge to impact the reader’s perception of Morrie’s degeneration. Albom also uses imagery clarify the condition of ALS to the reader. He explains that “ALS is like a lit candle: it melts your nerves and leaves your body a pile of wax” (24). The familiar action of a candle melting reinforces the brutality of Morrie’s disease. Everyone has witnessed a melting candle, but not many have witnessed the effects of ALS. Visually applying this relatable image of “melting” to Morrie’s deteriorating body allows the reader to fully grasp the gravity of his condition.

Mitch Albom often structures his sentences in Tuesdays With Morrie so that they emphasize important statements within the memoir. Brief statements at the end of his paragraphs highlight a significant theme. Albom consistently applies this quick writing style throughout the memoir, an effective tool to emphasize meaning. For example, “He would not wither. He would not be ashamed of dying” (24) its own paragraph entirely. Separating these statements from the rest of the reading emphasize certain messages. This disease will not define Morrie—a central theme throughout the memoir. Later in the book Morrie says, “not everyone is so lucky” (62) and “death ends a life, not a relationship” (149), both statements their own paragraphs. Because these statements sum up the message of the entire memoir, it’s crucial that the audience understand the importance of the words. Isolating these phrases from the rest of the writing focuses the reader on the critical points in the writing and allows them to understand these are the very points that resonate with the author himself.

Even though Mitch Albom is the author and narrator of Tuesdays With Morrie, it is apparent that for most of the memoir Morrie is the focus. As both the protagonist and main character, it is about Morrie that the audience is most concerned. However, it is important to understand that while readers share the point of view of the author and experience Morrie’s life as it impacted Mitch Albom, it’s through Morrie’s life that the audience learns most about the narrator. Albom’s takeaways and reactions to Morrie’s condition reveal most of who he is. The character development of Mitch prior to his Tuesdays with Morrie to after his visits is made apparent to the reader through Albom’s reflections and commentary. Before, Albom states, “my days were full, yet I remained, much of the time, unsatisfied” (43). It’s very clear at the beginning of the memoir that Albom’s days consist of routine work. It isn’t until he finds himself out of work that he gains clarity as he “was stunned at how easily things went on without [him]” (51). Mitch Albom was in desperate need of perspective; Morrie offered him this perspective. Later in the memoir, as he assimilates Morrie’s wisdom, Mitch’s growth is evident. He begins to recognize what matters in his life. An example of this breakthrough is when he asks, “learning to pay attention? How important could that be? I know it is more important than almost everything they taught us in college” (121). In the final chapter of the memoir, Mitch’s true character is fully revealed. While humbly rubbing his old professor’s feet, Mitch states, “[Morrie] had finally made me cry,” a statement young Mitch would’ve never admitted to at the beginning of his journey with Morrie (156). Mitch Albom learned most about himself when visiting with his professor. It’s during these meetings that his reflections and reactions are most genuine, in turn exposing the true character of Mitch Albom to the reader. These are the reflections that explain how profoundly he was touched by his mentor, Morrie, and all that he has learned. Because this is such a monumental event in Albom’s life, it’s fitting that his memoir would be centered around his old professor.

Some readers may argue the opposite—that the memoir is ineffective because it focuses too heavily on a single event in Mitch Albom’s life. Albom writes very little of his childhood and personal life. It’s fair to argue that these events should also be included in his autobiography; however, this memoir is not an account of Albom’s life experiences, it’s an account of the significant lessons and wisdom he has acquired. The memoirs importance centers on the fact that before his Tuesday visits with Morrie, Mitch Albom’s life was largely meaningless and repetitive. To dwell on that part of his life would also be largely meaningless and repetitive and thus ineffective since there are no real lessons to draw from. It is sufficient that Albom explains at the beginning of the memoir that he had a successful job, traveled often, and lived a decent life, but it wasn’t what he had imagined for himself. So in some ways, Albom’s life didn’t truly start until he rediscovered his purpose through Morrie. Therefore, it’s logical that the memoir begins at this point in his life.

The nostalgic tone of the author throughout the memoir offers the reader a better perspective of who Mitch Albom is. In between each chapter is a short essay in the present tense, about the past. While Tuesdays With Morrie is about the last few months of Morrie’s life, Albom includes brief excerpts of him and Morrie’s relationship in earlier years when Mitch was a student in college. These include the time when Mitch first stepped foot into Morrie’s class and when Morrie met Mitch’s parents. Providing these brief insights into the past give the reader more context and explains that Albom’s relationship with his professor is rooted deeply extending years back into Albom’s most developmental years.

The last chapter of the book is arguably the most critical reflection in the memoir because it includes the epiphany of the author. After having witnessed Morrie’s battle with ALS firsthand, it’s Albom’s takeaway from this experience that reveals the most about him as the author. At the end of his memoir, Albom writes, “I look back sometimes at the person I was before (…) I want to talk to that person (…) there is not such a thing as too late in life” (161). Mitch Albom’s memoir isn’t a collection of the things that have happened in his life as many autobiographies are, it’s about the lessons he’s learned through living, the lessons he’s learned from Morrie. In a successful memoir, some representation of growth or character development is conveyed. Albom draws something from every experience he writes about—this gives his story meaning.

Tuesdays With Morrie is an effective memoir because of the writing style and unique storytelling style. While most memoirs only include the opinion of the narrator, Tuesdays With Morrie includes perspectives from both the teacher and student. The reader learns most about the author through the experiences of Morrie Schwartz. Because of the pathos generated, unique point of view, and author’s epiphany, Tuesdays With Morrie effectively leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Tuesdays With Morrie Life Lesson

C.S Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” In the biography “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom, Morrie, an old man is diagnosed with a fatal disease and has to choose between living out his final days on a bed, or make an impact on the world by helping people overcome their problems. Because of his decision to continue living his life, we can confirm that the greatest life lesson from this book is basically what C.S Lewis said: you are never too old to stop living life. The author also uses many literary devices to prove that this is the lesson to be learned.

One instance where we can see Morrie living life even after his illness doesn’t let him do too much is when people are sending letters back from around the world addressing their problems. The text reads, “‘What’s the first letter?’ Morrie said. A colleague read a note from a woman named Nancy, who had lost her mother to ALS. She wrote to say how much she had suffered through the loss and how she knew that Morrie must be suffering, too. And she was right, he was struggling. Every letter took nearly ten minutes to write back, and was usually only a couple sentences. Morrie wouldn’t stop though. Each letter added to his purpose in the world. As long as Morrie had letters to write, he had something to do in life” (Albom 85). Morrie has just sat down to write back letters from people that suffered a loss or want to talk to him. Obviously, Morrie has a lot of letter like these because he said “What’s the first letter?” From this piece of evidence, it is clear that Morrie does not want to lie on his deathbed for the rest of his life, but wants to do something with the time he has left. Even if he’s not going on a treasure hunt, he is contributing to the world by sending back letters to people in pain, which is more than what most people his age and illness do. To show that this is the life lesson, the author shows the activity Morrie is doing, and immediately after explains how it has something to do with his goal in life. This emphasizes that Morrie is doing something in life because it shows how he is struggling to do these normal activities, but how it gives him something to look forward to in life.

Another instance where we can see Morrie living life is when he is having chats with his visitors and giving them advice in their life. The advice Morrie gives is, “‘Life is a series of pulls back and forth… A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match…Which side win? Love wins. Love always wins.’ After he was finished with his first patient, he’d call in the next, then the next, and he’d keep talking with a smile on his face ” (Albom 40). In this text, Morrie is giving a piece of advice to one of the many well wishers that visit his home. Morrie is living his life to the fullest by giving young people the advice they need, which can be more valuable than money and materialistic thing. In a way, by spending time with people that need help, Morrie is living a more purposeful life than most people his age. The advice he gives and the people he helps surely shows that Morrie is living life to the fullest by doing whatever he can. Not only did this text show him helping one person with his problem, but also described the endless amounts of people that kept coming in to see him. The author describes Morrie’s day so much and the amount of people that come to see Morrie as a literary technique to show us how Morrie is really living his life to the fullest.

The greatest life lesson that can be learned from this book is that you are never too old to stop living life. Through two of many pieces of evidence, we can see how Morrie is living his life even though he can barely move due to his illness. While some may say Morrie didn’t go on a great adventure or relax in a foreign country, he did spend the rest of his life helping others and inspiring others to keep on living when it all seems hopeless. While there were many life lessons throughout the book, this was by far the most valuable and obvious one in there. Clearly, this was the main life lesson to be learned from the book, and the author used many literary devices to prove this.