An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson!
Quite a few people had recommended that I read Tuesdays with Morrie. This book had been on my wish list for a long time. I finally got a chance to read it last month; and I am glad I did!
Tuesdays with Morrie is an inspiring book filled with wonderful life lessons, imparted by Morrie – an old professor who is on his death bed; to Mitch Albom – who was his student at university many years back. Morrie had an intense impact on Mitch while at the Brandeis university, but lost touch with each other after graduation. Decades later, Mitch learnt that Morrie was suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a specific disorder that involves the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles), and he would not be able to survive long. Mitch started spending time with his old professor every Tuesday, which rekindled their relationship. This went on for 14 weeks, before they bid each other a final goodbye. The storyline and lessons unfold week after week beautifully.
The brilliantly written book presents ideas that are engaging, poignant and thought-provoking. The best part about the book is that Morrie offers his insights about life, without being sad and depressed despite his terminal illness. Tuesdays with Morrie teaches us simple things in life which we tend to overlook and forget in the face of pressures that our modern culture brings. The narrative is a reminder of how easy it is to get bound in the treadmill of life, and the pursuit for what we think is significant.
Here is a summary of the topics that were discussed between Morrie and Mitch:
The First Tuesday – About the World
The Second Tuesday – About Feeling Sorry For Yourself
The Third Tuesday – About Regrets
The Fourth Tuesday – About Death
The Fifth Tuesday – About Family
The Sixth Tuesday – About Emotions
The Seventh Tuesday – About the Fear of Aging
The Eighth Tuesday – About Money
The Ninth Tuesday – About How Life Goes On
The Tenth Tuesday – About Marriage
The Eleventh Tuesday – About Culture
The Twelfth Tuesday – About Forgiveness
The Thirteenth Tuesday – About the Perfect Day
The Fourteenth Tuesday – They say Good-Bye!
A few note-worthy conversations, which impacted me are:
- Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’ You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
- “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
- We need to forgive ourselves. For all the things we didn’t do. All the things we should have done. You can’t get stuck on the regrets of what should have happened.
- Most of us all 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.
- Accept who you are; and revel in it.
- The truth is, when our mothers held us, rocked us, stroked our heads -none of us ever got enough of that. We all yearn in some way to return to those days when we were completely taken care of – unconditional love, unconditional attention. Most of us didn’t get enough.
- Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. 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.
Even as Morrie bid a final good bye to Mitch on the fourteenth Tuesday, something tugged at my heart strings, and tears rolled down my eyes. At the end, I felt as though I actually knew Morrie. He died with such honor and dignity.
Tuesdays with Morrie is one of the best self-help books I’ve come across, and it easily gets into my list of favorites. It’s a story about finding oneself when you are about to lose everything. This book is a game changer. My recommendation: Grab your copy and read this one, if you still haven’t! It will definitely change your perception of life.