Tuesday with Morrie is a beautifully written book about the relationship of the author (Mitch Albom) and his mentor (Morrie Schwartz) before Morrie passed away from cancer. They met up every Tuesdays on his last precious weeks, when Morrie passed wisdom, thoughts, insights, experiences and guidances in which Mitch shared in this book.
This book has so much honesty, love and warmth. Have you ever had a mentor or a teacher who give you guidance and advice throughout your life and someone whom you admire deeply?
Growing up, I've always been a quiet and shy kid. I asked friends for advice on little things, but for personal things, I always think it through myself. Maybe because I'm not comfortable sharing my problem and showing my weaknesses.
Reading this book feels so personal and I feel that I can personally relate and be grateful to all Morrie's advices and that I can apply it to my life and that I am a wiser and better person after reading the book. I almost feel like Morrie is my personal mentor. This book speaks to me.
Ohh, don't you just love that? :)
He was eight years old. A telegram came from the hospital, and since his father, a Russian immigrant, could not read English, Morrie had to break the news, reading his mother's death notice like a student in front of the class. "We regret to inform you . . ." he began.
Some of my favourites from the book:
"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. "
How can you ever be prepared to die?
"Do what the Buddhists do. Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, 'Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?"
"The truth is, Mitch," he said, "Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. "
If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.
"Mitch, it is impossible for the old not to envy the young. But the issue is to accept who you are and revel in that. This is your time to be in your thirties. I had my time to be in my thirties, and now is my time to be seventy-eight. "
Mitch, if you're trying to show off for the people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you're trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.
"When Morrie was with you, he was really with you. He looked you straight in the eye, and he listened as if you were the only person in the world. How much better would people get along if their first encounter each day were like this- instead of a grumble from a waitress or a bus driver or a boss?"
Being fully present-you should be with the person you're with and thinking about them.
"People are only mean when they're threatened and that's what our culture does. That's what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture."
It is 1979, a basketball game in the Brandeis gym. The team is doing well, and the student section begins a chant, "We're number one! We're number one!" Morrie is sitting nearby. He is puzzled by the cheer. At one point, in the midst of "We're number one!" he rises and yells, "What's wrong with being number two?"
"When you're in bed, you're dead. "
The New Year came and went. Although he never said it to anyone, Morrie knew this would be the last year of his life. He was using a wheelchair now, and he was fighting time to say all the things he wanted to say to all the people he loved. When a colleague at Brandeis died suddenly of a heart attack, Morrie went to his funeral. He came home depressed.
"What a waste," he said. "All those people saying all those wonderful things, and Irv never got to hear any of it."
Morrie had a better idea. He made some calls. He chose a date. And on a cold Sunday afternoon, he was joined in his home by a small group of friends and family for a "living funeral." Each of them spoke and paid tribute to my old professor. Some cried. Some laughed. Morrie cried and laughed with them. And all the heartfelt things we never get to say to those we love, Morrie said that day. His "living funeral" was a rousing success.
When the final moment came, Morrie wanted his loved ones around him, knowing what was happening. No one would get a phone call, or a telegram, or have to look through a glass window in some cold and foreign basement.
"As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you
were at twenty-two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not
just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative
that you're going to die, it's the positive that you
understand you're going to die, and that you live a better
life because of it."
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Well, Mitch Albom did the first one and Morrie Schwartz did the second one :)
“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.”