Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch Albom
Genre: Non-fiction, memoir, inspirational
Published: 2000 by Warner
Nearly 20 years after their first lessons, now dying college professor Morrie imparts his wisdom to student Mitch during weekly Tuesday meetings. A gentle mentor imparts the lessons of a long life.
First line: The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves.
As I mentioned in my review of Regine's Book, I am not a fan of non-fiction. But I read books in this genre nevertheless and ironically enough, these are the books that really get to me. They teach me something, inspire me and make me cry. Tuesdays with Morrie is one of those books. I can't believe I waited so long to read this.
These were the last days of Morrie Schwartz, a professor diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. It should have destroyed lesser men, but Morrie was more than that. You'll see his courage and optimism in the face of imminent death. I was amazed that even though he was suffering physically, he still gave his all to the people he loved. He gave them time, companionship, concern. He listened to their problems and offered advice. He could have easily chosen to be alone and spent his remaining time with his family, but he was not selfish. Even deteriorating, he still served his community, wanted others to hear his message and taught them about life. His aphorisms were inspiring and thought-provoking. They'll make you reflect on yourself, your actions, your intentions. It was humbling reading his views of the culture he lived in. His student Mitch was one of those lucky enough to be taught by him. Morrie changed him for the better. The love between the coach and the player - as they fondly call each other - was beautiful. Mitch was there during Morrie's last days and as Morrie said, it is never too late. They talked of love, life, marriage, family, forgiveness, saying goodbye, death. The goodbye was heartbreaking, of course. And even though Morrie's gone, Mitch was sure his old professor still listened to him, because that's how Morrie was.
This book is a must-read. Today's generation would definitely learn a thing or two from Morrie Schwartz.
"Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted."
"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don't deserve love, we think if we let it in, we'll become too soft. But a wise man named Levine said it right. He said, 'Love is the only rational act.'"
"Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling."
"Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live."
"Mitch, if you're trying to show off for 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."
"...love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone."