Tuesdays with Morrie: an Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

by Mitch Albom | Humor |
ISBN: 0385484518 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 3/18/2004
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, March 18, 2004
I picked this up 2nd hand for my DW, we both recently read 'The 5 People you meet in Heaven' - she liked it more than me!

(05/05) review to follow

(07/05) Now, i’m as emotional as the next man. Hold on, that sounds wrong, must be the juxtaposition of ‘emotional’ and ‘man’ in the same sentence ;-) Now ‘Morrie’ Schwartz is not afraid to be emotional, and he’s dying a slow lingering, bottom-up, death from ALS, otherwise know as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Without self-pity, he loses mobility & normal bodily functions, and becomes more dependant on others; but at the same time he gains a greater insight into death and the meaning of life. His appreciation grows (as it would?) of the natural world, his remaining senses, family, love & relationships; moreover the value of these commodities becomes more precious, compared to the baser ‘metals’ of material wealth, power, money & worldly success.

Teacher Morrie dedicates his final class – epitaph ‘A teacher to the last’ - to a former favourite student (Mitch Albom), this memoir being the ‘thesis’. The lessons are imparted on Tuesday’s. He (MS) says that to understand life, one has to understand death, “…once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” He goes a bit too far down this line for me, suggesting that by embracing (the idea of) death and looking forward to old age we can somehow be freed from material desires (very Buddhist). Tell it to the trees. I’m a 30-something man, with a wife & family to support and ambitions for a certain standard of living, there are experiences that I want to have in the real world. Surely the secret is to be moderate & tolerant in all things, and strive to be happy with your life, to avoid regrets & guilt (‘forgive yourself’), to do the best you can whilst avoiding harming yourself & others. I’d like to know if, and how, MA has been affected by his tuesdays with Morrie, and the writing of this book? Having read ‘5 People you meet in Heaven’ I think MA is a better writer of non-fiction, maybe its his journalistic background, documenting another persons story, rather the more contrived & less credible ‘5 people’ - IMHO.

There are a couple of the lessons that I would like to take out of this book; the first is summed up by the aphorism “I believe in being fully present” – giving people & tasks your full attention, think about getting the best out of here & now, whither the future, which will not change the more you worry about it! Secondly, Morrie’s view on emotion & detachment, which sounds contradictory but is right; don’t be afraid to feel “Turn on the faucet. Wash yourself with the emotion. It won’t hurt you. It will only help. If you let the fear inside, if you pull it on like a familiar shirt, then you can say to yourself, ‘All right, it’s just fear, I don’t have to let it control me. I see it for what it is.’” Then you can move, detached, live a little before you die!

One last observation that I made, which must be deliberate on the part of the author, but I’m not sure to what end? When Morrie is talking, only he has speech marks, MA and others seem to exist merely as prompts, or even like background thoughts. I suppose death, and that “…bridge between life and death” is the only truly personal & individual trip of anyone’s life?

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan at on Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Released on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 at to another bookcrosser in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Sent to fellow UKBCer kayjb. Why? Cos she asked for it :) Enjoy

Journal Entry 3 by kayjb on Friday, May 07, 2004
Just recieved from BookGroupMan...I'm very much looking forward to reading this one. Thanks Tony!! I'll write more when I've finished reading (:-D)

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