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