Tuesdays With Morrie
An Old Man, Young Man, And Life’s Lessons
Tuesdays with Morris is not just the title of the book for the day two men spend time together. One the student, the other the teacher.
A few years ago you probably took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which took place all over the world, to raise awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). This disease attacks the nervous system and turns you into a lifeless form of yourself.
Mitch Albom, wrote, “tuesdays with Morrie,”not only bring awareness to ALS, but to also share the heart warming story of Morrie Schwartz. Who was Morrie Schwartz?
He was a man millions of people never met. He died the same year the O.J Simpson verdict come out.
While millions of people were consumed by the trial of the century, Morrie was learning to live. He did not win his battle with ALS but was able to touch the lives of millions of people. He was interviewed three times by Dateline’s, Ted Kopple, and even brought him to tears.
Your Last Day’s
Would you want to know when you were going to die? How would you spend your last days? Would you lay down and give up? Would you use your death, as a message to millions of people, to finally start live? or Would you rather your last day be a surprise?
This is not an easy question and frankly many of us will never know when our last day will be. It could be today or it could be 50 years for now. No one is born with an expiration date. That is what makes the journey of life to amazing. Everyday is a new day to discovery our life.
What will you do with your life today, to change the world of everyone around you? I believe this is the question Morrie Schwartz explored with Mitch Albom.
Living With ALS
Would you let others help you in your dying days or would you want to die alone? Morrie asked himself, “Do I wither away and disappear, or do I make the best of the time I have left?”
Morrie Schwartz wanted to die the way he lived. He was a teacher and wanted to teach the world about living when you’re dying. The greatest unselfish deed. Sharing your last moments with people who will benefit and live a long life after your gone.
Morrie wanted to know why people only say nice things about the person when they die? In reality, we do not know if the dead can hear us. Would it not be better to tell people how you feel about them when they are still alive?
Morrie decided to have a “Living Funeral.” This is where all his loved ones would come and share stories, jokes, tears and emotions, so he could hear what they had to say. This would allow him to relish those stories until his dying day.
Mitch was a student of Morrie. University had brought them close, where they would not only discuss class topics but also life. Morrie and Mitch developed what you would call a coach and student relationship. They would spend time together on Tuesdays. This is where the title of the book Tuesdays with Morrie came from.
After university Mitch moved on in his career, like we all do. He got a job, a home, got married and start living a routine life. Day’s turned to months, months into years and he had no contact with his teacher.
Not till 16 years later. It only takes a moment in time to change your life and your destiny. If Mitch had not been flipping through channels, the night of the first Dateline interview with Morrie, he would have never met his coach again and this book would have never happen.
Meeting Coach Morrie
When you live in another city and you have to travel a few hours by plane to meet someone it is not easy. It can get expensive. Imagine doing this on a weekly basis, every Tuesday, for four months.
Why did Mitch do this? I believe he understood that work is important but being with someone you care about is more important. He knew he could not be at work and be with his teacher. Although a pay check would be great but it could not buy the moments back that he would have missed.
One of the questions this book asks is, “Why do we get involved in the lives of people we have never met?” The lives of TV personalities, sports stars, musicians, reality show stars and the news, do they really matter that much to us? And if so, why?
I believe the answer is many of us go through life unsatisfied and we are looking in all the wrong places for happiness.
Continue To Live
Although ALS was eating away at Morrie’s body, it was not killing his mind and soul. Morrie thought Mitch, the fact that no matter if you die today or tomorrow, life will go on without us around.
It is easy it is to forget that the cycle of life continues. As life is created something else is dying. We all know that when we were born, our ultimate place in history is death. What we do with that time in history, will create memories for us and those we spend time with.
Consider the life of Stephen Hawking. He has ALS and he did not give up. He has been able to do many things in this chosen field. I heard something profound from Stephen Hawking once. Because he had this disease he was able to put his full concentration to his work. He did not give up, rather he focused on what mattered and not the things that did not anymore.
Lessons From Morrie
Morrie was not a religious man, from what I gathered in this book, but he was a man of philosophy. We said we all know we are going to die, but nobody believes it.
Why do we all think we will live to the old age of infinity? Are we waiting on science to sell us the fountain of youth?
If we would all accept that death is a natural part of our living, then we would sit with the dying, and allow them to share their story. We would learn from their stories and live a better, more impactful life.
Spend a few moments each day and enjoy everything. Someday it will all come to an end. Powerful is it not? Why do we spend all our time trying to be something we are not? Should we not spend our time being who we truly are?
We spend hours on social media just so someone will notice us. We post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, Youtube, Pinterest and so many other sites.
Why? Simple, because we are looking for someone else approval. We like what some one likes our picture, share a comment or retweets, it makes us feel like we matter.
Instead of being on social media all day or spending hours in front of the television, call up a friend and spend some time together. Do not let society decide what your values are. You have to choose for yourself.
Choose the moments which matter and those that create lasting memory in someone’s life.
Make A Difference
Invest your time in relationships, humanity, family, community and helping others. Learn to forgive others and to forgive yourself. Allow your yourself to cry. We need to allow ourselves to experience emotion. I am guilty of this. Sometimes when I want to cry I stop myself.
Why do I do this? I believe I do this because I am afraid to connect to my human side. This book helps me see this reality. We are all programmed to not be emotional. It is seen as a bad trait to have in our society.
Do you want live or do you want to die? No matter what your answer is, you have to accept death and then live each day to its fullest.
Make a difference in the lives of other people. Pay attention when people speak. Do not be side tracked by other thoughts or your smart phone. Know the conversation you are having might be the last one you ever have with that person.
Dying with ALS or any other way is painful. Everyone involved is affected one way or another. Will you live your life as Morrie Schwartz did? He was not focused on his death rather he was looking at life one day at a time and enjoying every moment.
The biggest take away from the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, is that we need to choose experience rather live a life of theory. We can not take our life for granted. We are here and we are doing to die.
Who will you share your moments with?
The lesson Morrie wanted to teach Mitch was not that ALS is going to slowly kill him. He wants Mitch to consider what was important and what was not.
Now its your turn to make a difference. Share this story with people in your favourite social media platform. It’s easy to do and a proven fact your inner circle wants to know what you know.
Leave a comment by telling us what one tip you learned and how you will apply it to live a more meaningful live.
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