Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom recounts the afternoons he spent with his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, after discovering that Morrie was dying from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). For anyone interested in the study of death and dying, the book is a tremendous resource. hen we speak about death speculatively or theoretically, many of us fantasize about living a long healthy life and then dying quite suddenly in one's sleep. Morrie's medical condition provides the polar opposite, a slow wasting away, often in agonizing pain. Albom describes the effects of the ALS later in the book:
His legs needed constant tending (he could still feel pain, even though he could not move them, another one of ALS's cruel little ironies) and unless his feet dangled just the right number of inches off the foam pads, it felt as if someone were poking him with a fork. In…… [Read More]
Mitch and Janine also talk to Morrie about marriage. Morrie calls it an important life experience all should have. In learning about another within marriage one continues to learn about oneself.
By the 11th Tuesday Morrie has become extremely helpless. In this session, Mitch is able to shed his self-consciousness about Morrie's increasingly infantile needs, in order to help Morrie breathe, which is now very, very difficult. They also hold hands and just stay close. Mitch learns that the cultural imperative that adults, especially males, not touch deprives men of physical affection all people need, regardless of age. Also, now that Morrie can no longer eat the food Mitch has brought him each Tuesday, Mitch realizes that all along he has also been giving his dying professor a more important gift than food, that of his attentive interest and companionship.
The 12th Tuesday, Morrie mentions importance of forgiving, recalling regret…… [Read More]
For instance, Mitch graduates from collage, begins his career, and lets his work consume him. Morrie asks if he had found someone to share his heart with, if he was giving to his community, and if he was at peace with himself. Mitch wonders what happened to him and is embarrassed (34). In reality what happened to Mitch is what has happened too many before; he went to work and left behind the ideals and dreams he developed as a young man. Instead of doing what was important he chose to become important. Morrie also talks the importance knowing you are. The lack of self-understanding leads to many problems in life including choice of life partner (148), inability to find meaning in your life (136), and an insatiable need for things (125).
These are a few of the ideas expressed in the book that resonated with me.
Strong interpersonal…… [Read More]
He sometimes admits he is afraid, but for the most part, he is very dignified and brave in how he faces death. He is also remarkable candid, and that is quite appealing too. There is another reason that I identify with him as well, and that is because he helps Mitch, even though he is dying. He is very selfless, and he worries more about other people than he worries about himself. He is also honest, on both his good days and bad days, and that makes him quite admirable, too. He is a charming man, and the story really shows what an effect he had on his students when he was teaching, too. I admire him because I think he made a difference in many people's lives during his lifetime, and I would hope that someday I could say that about myself. I also think that sharing his story…… [Read More]
Tuesdays With Morrie
How is Morrie eating?
"He was eating mostly liquid supplements, with perhaps a bran muffin tossed in until it was mushy and easily digested."
"He was taking food through a straw. I still shopped every week and walked in with bags to show him, but it was more for the look than anything else."
"He had begun to cough while eating, and chewing was a chore."
How is Morrie talking?
"When you're in bed, you're dead."
"Once this thing hits my lungs, talking may become impossible. I can't speak for too long without needing a rest now."
"I'm bargaining with Him up there now. I'm asking Him, 'Do I get to be one of the angels?'"
How is Morrie sleeping?
"I knew Morrie's nights were becoming difficult, that he didn't sleep through them."
b. "He could sleep only a few hours at a time before violent…… [Read More]
Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom, and discusses the book in the light of "Life-Span Development" by John W. Santrock.
The book "Tuesdays with Morrie" hold in itself great wisdom. It is the story of the author and how his mentor conveyed his wisdom to his students. The main character of the book is Morrie Schwartz, a professor of sociology. The author of the book, Mitch Albom, is one of the students of the professor. The story of the book revolved around Morrie, as the particular professor is the author's most favorite.
The story covers the life of the author and the professor and the often-steady, often-hasty process of change in their lives. As Morrie holds great significance in the author's life, the abrupt change in the professor's life is bound to impact Mitch's life too. Mitch only highlights with a slight hint towards this change, "I leaned over to…… [Read More]
Existentialists look at life differently, and so does Morrie. Where others would become depressed about their growing dependency on others, Morrie sees it as a chance to "experience" being a baby again, something that was important in his life but he no longer remembers. He has a different way of looking at things, and this seems like a better way to manage the stresses of life. Not eternal optimism, but instead, looking to see if there is something interesting or even challenging in the stress that can become a catalyst for change or growth, rather than stagnation and depression.
Personally, most people are afraid of aging and dying, and yet, it is the only thing in life that is absolutely certain, and so it is futile to fear it. Instead of facing his death with fear, like many people do, Morrie faces it with strength and humor. That does not…… [Read More]
.....deathbed, Morrie reflects on his life, and relays several messages about the meaning or purpose of life. Ironically, one of the main messages of the story is that life does not necessarily have a greater or cosmic meaning. Meaning is found in what is immediately before us, in the day-to-day existence and especially in relationships with others. Life's meaning is found in accepting life for what it is rather than wishing it could be something else. The meaning of life can therefore be best understood by appreciating what we have now instead of wishing we were different or that things were different.
Second, and following from this, the meaning of life is located in the small details, things we can frequently overlook -- finding beauty and joy in every day, even on bad days and in situations that are painful or uncomfortable. Meaning is especially found in friendship, caring for…… [Read More]
The book is set up as a series of lessons, each one occurring on one of Mitch's visits to his newly reinstated mentor. Morrie Schwartz's "lectures," however, are not like traditional college lectures. Instead, they take the form of discussions between the two characters on the important lessons of life, with the two men learning from each other. Mostly, however, the book details how Albom reconnects both with his mentor and with his former idealism. The ways in which this occurs are varied; for the most part, Mitch and Morrie's discussions of various world events and philosophies regarding life and death lead to a deeper understanding of humanity in both men's minds, and especially in Albom's. One of the most profound yet simple points that occurs during the book is when Mitch asks Morrie how one can prepare to die. Morrie basically reverses the question with the Buddhist notion of…… [Read More]
Moody (2010) introduced many important concepts about aging in his textbook. The idea of aging as a subject is broached in many ways in this informative book, however there are some key aspects that suggest the most prominent and problematic concepts of aging that are highlighted when comparing this text to the film Gran Torino, directed by Clint Eastwood. This movie suggests that despite the portrayal as violence as a virtue, becoming elderly is a difficult and misunderstood time in one's life. The film depicted a man who, after a lifetime of resorting to violence, realizes he his misunderstood in a changed world that pays him no respect.
Moody wrote "the subjective experience of meaning is closely related to individual well being. The search for interpretive meaning in later life underscores the importance of cognitive functioning in old age," (p.23). Using this idea as a model for the…… [Read More]
An attitude of 'firm persuasion' means that we have a sense of mission in what we do; a mission that cannot be easily diverted or silenced. At his core, Morrie's firm persuasion was that he was a teacher. Even when facing tremendous physical challenges and obstacles, he continued to teach Mitch and others about the nature of his life. One way to figure out what our life's work is and to steel ourselves with 'firm persuasion' is to ask: what would I be doing if I had my choice, more than anything else in the world? Painting? Playing sports? Writing? Although not everyone can be a teacher, painter, professional athlete, or writer, we can all find ways to ensure that we are able to pursue our passions every day.
Having a 'firm persuasion' in doing what makes our life feel meaningful means being able to tolerate and rebound from…… [Read More]