The Book – tuesdays with Morrie
An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lessons
Tuesdays with Morris, is not just the title of the book. It is one of the greatest lessons in life. How to live life even when you know your time on Earth is coming to an end.
It is the story of one student and his teacher, mentor, life coach and friend
A few years ago, you probably heard about and may have taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. This challenge took place all over the world and was meant to raise awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
ALS attacks the nervous system and turns you into a lifeless form of your former self.
Who was Morrie Schwartz
Mitch Albom wrote, “tuesdays with Morrie”, not only to bring awareness to ALS but to let readers know how deadly and challenging this disease is.
In doing so he also shared the heartwarming story of Morrie Schwartz. Who was Morrie Schwartz and why should we care?
He was a man millions of people never met. He died the same year the O.J Simpson, double murder, verdict came out.
While millions of people were consumed by the trial of the century, Morrie was learning how to live with ALS.
He did not win his battle with ALS but he was able to touch the lives of millions of people nonetheless.
Three interviews with Dateline’s, Ted Kopple, introduced Morrie to the world. The world got to know the man living with ALS. Morrie was giving people a reason to live life to its fullest by sharing his story of his struggle with ALS.
In the book, Mitch recounts a moment where Morrie brought the tough anchorman, Ted Kopple, to tears.
Your Last Day’s
Would you want to know when you were going to die?
How would you spend your last days knowing tomorrow you may not wake up?
Would you lay down and give up or would you use your death, as a message to millions of people, to start living?
Perhaps you would you rather your last day be a surprise?
This is not an easy question to answer.
Truly many of us will never know when our last day will be. It could be today. It could be 50 years for now. No one is born with an expiration date on their birth certificate.
That is what makes the journey of life so amazing. Every day is a new day to discovery your life, your purpose and your passion.
What will you do with your life today, to change the world of everyone around you?
I believe this is the question Morrie Schwartz and Mitch Albom explored in the book, tuesdays with Morrie.
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 in life and death. The one great unselfish deed. Sharing your last moments with people who will benefit and live a long life after you are gone.
Morrie wanted to know why people only say nice things about you when you die?
The truth is in death, we do not know if the dead can hear us. So, 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 shared stories, jokes, tears and emotions, so he could hear what they had to say. This allowed 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 the meaning of life.
Morrie and Mitch developed what you would call a coach and student relationship. They would spend time together on every Tuesdays.
This is where the title of the book, tuesdays with Morrie, comes from.
After university Mitch moved and was focused on in his career. He got a job, a home, got married and start living the routine of 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 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 happened.
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 gets expensive and the bills pile up. Imagine making the weekly plane trip every Tuesday for four months.
Why did Mitch do this, when others would have not?
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, it could not buy any of the moments he had missed over the last 16 years.
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 easy to understand. 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 has to go on without us.
It is easy it is to forget that the cycle of life continues. As life is created something else is dying. We all understand when we were born, our ultimate place in history would be 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 so profound from Stephen Hawking. He said it was because he had this disease he could put his full concentration to his work. He did not give up, rather he focused on what mattered to him.
Lessons I Learned 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 around you. Someday it will all come to an end. Powerful! Why do we spend all our time trying to be something we are not? Should we not spend our time being who we truly want to be?
We post pictures, images and comments on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest and so many other sites just to get others to notice us.
Simple, because we are looking for someone else approval. It’s like our own approval does not matter to us.
We like when someone likes our picture, shares, make a comment or retweets, it makes us feel like we matter. It gives us a sense of purpose.
Instead of being on social media all day or spending hours in front of the television, call up a friend and spend some time with them. Do not let society decide what your values are. You must choose your values 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, 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 know I am guilty of this. Many times, I want to cry but I stop myself. I do not let the tears flow.
Why do I do this?
Maybe because society tells me grown men don’t cry? Maybe because I am afraid to connect to my “human” side.
This book helped me see this reality. We are being programmed to not be emotional. It is seen as a bad trait to have in our society. Over the last few years I have allowed myself to feel again and cry.
Morrie, helped me see what society believes about me is not important.
Make a difference in the lives of other people. Pay attention when people speak. Do not be side tracked by other thoughts or your smartphone.
Know that 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 who is involved will be 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 than live a life of theory. We cannot take our life for granted. We are here and we are doing to die.
Who will you share your moments with? How will you live your life?
This is the real question of life.
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 in his own life and what was not.
How will you live today? Go out and live a life that is different than you have been living.
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