“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”
-Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie
I bought Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Bloom purely based on internet recommendations. I bought this book two years ago and somehow didn’t get the chance to read it. It has been lying on my bookshelf ever since.
The book documents the final days’ of protagonist Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor by profession from the perspective of his student, Mitch Bloom.
Mitch and Morrie: The professor and the student
Mitch is an established sports columnist for Detroit Free Press. He seems to be doing well in his professional and personal life. While flipping through the television channels one evening, he comes across the interview of his favorite professor, Morrie, with America’s famous talk show host Ted Koppel.
Morrie was in a wheelchair by the time the interview was telecasted. He is diagnosed with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. His nervous system is depleting day by day, paralyzing him, one body part at a time.
Morrie loved dancing, he didn’t care what the music was or its genre. Just the beats were enough for him. He would be dancing to the tunes playing right now, even if it made him look like a fool.
Morrie adored his friends and students. He loved having them around, He loved listening to their stories. Good bad, whatever it was. He would offer them words of advice and a shoulder to cry on if need be.
So, when his diagnosis of ALS came, he knew his time was running out. Instead of being depressed and sad about it, he decided to get productive. He began noting down every single idea that came to his mind on any piece of paper he could find.
He sent these ideas or aphorisms as he would like to call them to his fellow professor. His friend who after being inspired by those words, sent them to the Boston Globe who in turn decided to write a long feature story on Morrie.
The headline read:
A Professor final course: His own death.
The article caught the idea of television producers who decided to feature him on their television show.
I admire how Morrie is able to bring out vulnerability from the author with just the magic of his words. Mitch is not comfortable showing his soft side to the world. But somehow he adores the company of Morrie. His words soothe him. They bring the much-needed comfort that he secretly yearns for.
Excepts from Tuesdays with Morrie
The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. It’s become quite clear to me as I’ve been sick. If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, ‘Love each other or perish.”
I love the camaraderie that Mitch and Morrie shared throughout the course of the former’s lifetime. And beyond that. The contributions of Morrie towards the betterment of his students and society has made him immortal. He will be remembered for days and years to come.
The resilience that Morrie had in his last days made me pray for him. I hoped for a miracle as I flipped through the pages of the book. But life is unpredictable and death and only that is predictable. It’s inevitable. This book is a stark reminder of our short life on this planet.
A teacher affects eternity; He can never tell where his influence stops.”Henry Adams
Love, life and the inevitable called death:
Tuesdays with Morrie throws light on the sensitive topic of death. How to support a loved one who is in his last days. Don’t pity them or feel sorry for them, just support them. Morrie didn’t want a pity party for himself. Neither did he want his loved ones to drowning themselves in sorrow when he was gone.
He wanted to be remembered for his work and the joy that he brought to the lives of his loved ones. He always cracked jokes to lighten the mood even though he struggled to breathe. Because he didn’t want his folks to worry for him.
However, I do disagree with Morrie’s views about money. I do feel money is important for a person’s happiness. There is certainly a fine line between owing money and materialism. To disregard the importance of money in a person’s life and call it irrelevant is superficial in my opinion.
Money does bring happiness and relieves a person from life’s various responsibilities. Most of us strive for a better lifestyle for ourselves and our loved ones. And there is nothing wrong in admitting that.
I enjoyed reading Tuesdays with Morrie and I would recommend it to readers of 18+ age and above. Also to readers who have lost a loved one, who are trying to navigate with their emotions and the sorrows that come with it. This book might help you in understanding the other side of death, love and loss.
Publisher : Sphere; Exported edition (1 December 1998)
Language : English
Paperback : 208 pages
ISBN-10 : 0751527378
ISBN-13 : 978-0751527377
Country of Origin : United Kingdom
You can buy the book here: