For the longest time I have wanted to read Mitch Albom’s widely regarded book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” I finally purchased it and dove in. It was worth the read. This is one of those works that has the ability to change a person’s life, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a bit misty eyed at times. In short, you need to read this book, and here’s why . . .
Albom — who is a prolific sports reporter, nationally syndicated columnist and radio host, and author of several books — found out his former professor Morrie Schwartz was dying from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. While in college at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., Albom took every class Morrie offered. They become very close and good friends. Upon graduation, though, Albom admits to allowing their connection to fade away. He didn’t keep in touch, so when he heard of his beloved professor’s fate, he reconnected. At first he was worried too much time had passed, but Morrie remembered him, which lead to the magical series weekly conversations chronicled in the book.
During his time at Brandeis, Albom would always meet with Morrie on Tuesdays, so it was only natural they continue to meet on Tuesdays during the old professor’s ending days. They did this because, as Morrie said, they were “Tuesday people.”
Morrie was a teacher to the end, which is why he wanted to meet with Albom every week despite his continually declining condition. He wanted to give one final lesson to Albom. A final thesis, as it was referred to. A lesson about life and death and how to truly connect with those around us.
For 14 Tuesdays, Albom went to Morrie’s house. They talked about life and love and death and a myriad of other topics.
Each turn of the page brought forth new emotions and new perspectives on life. In reading what Albom had written of his conversations with Morrie, I felt like I was there; that Morrie was talking to me. It was very powerful. Several of the points truly struck me, but what follows are a list of the most impactful:
- Be like Morrie: have courage, humor, patience, and openness
- It’s OK to cry
- Always be present in the moment
- Don’t put off saying something to someone you care about as any day could be your last opportunity
- “‘Love is the only rational act.”‘ — Levine via Morrie
- Don’t feel sorry for yourself; give yourself a few moments each to mourn and then focus on the good
- “Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel.” — Morrie
- “Everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently [. . .] But there’s a better approach. To know you’re going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time. That’s better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living [. . .] Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” — Morrie
- “‘Love each other or perish.'” — Auden via Morrie
- Lead a simple life; don’t get caught up in egotistical or materialistic things
- Money is not a substitute for anything
- Offer others what you have to give
There was so much more great thoughts and philosophies on life, love, death, and happiness, but these were some of the most poignant to me. The entire book truly made me think and reconsider what it is important in life. I’ve read other books that made me want to change, but through the stories of Morrie, I feel like it is more achievable. It seems more within my reach. He was a teacher who could simplify concepts into a more digestible form, and therein lies the beauty of it all.
Read this book.
A very cool aspect of what Albom did was the reason he wrote the book. First, Morrie wanted him to, but Albom also did it to help pay for Morrie’s medical bills. He used proceeds from the book’s sales to pay for his dying professor’s medical expenses. That’s awesome!
Oh, and I finished reading this book yesterday evening while sitting at a high school track meet. Yesterday was a Tuesday. It felt right, ya know? Like Morrie’s presence was truly there.