Tuesdays with Morrie | BOOK REVIEW

I am a huge fan of self-help literature and there are many books I cannot wait to get my hands on. One of them was Tuesdays with Morrie, an insightful and heart warming book where an ex student, Mitch Albom rediscovers his old professor Morrie Schwartz. Mitch found his professor in the last few months of his life as he suffered from an untreatable disease called ALS, during that time they shared one final class where Morrie teached 'life's greatest lessons'.

There are many enlightening parts in the book; one aspect I was drawn to was Morrie's account of death. The professor places emphasis on how different we would live if we knew today would be the day we died: "Everyone's going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did we would do things differently", Schwartz suggests our fear of death reduces our acknowledgement of it. A lot of us view death as a frightening thing despite how natural it is. We only really start to think about how limited our time is when death gets close to us. For instance, when someone we know or love dies or the constant death we hear about in the news.

We must learn how to die in order to learn to live. We must learn to be at peace with dying, to be at peace with living. By being prepared for death at any time you have a completely different perspective in life. Morrie advises us to get into "the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, is this all I want? Is something missing?" and whether we are being who want to be. Living with this clarity and acceptance we can then begin to live with urgency and purposefulness by understanding that our last breath could be taken at any moment.

I admired Morrie's explanation on how he dealt with the feeling of grief and self pity. Some mornings he would mourn for himself and cry yet he would leave it in that very moment - he refused to carry the pain of sorrow and helplessness throughout the day. Instead, he would step away from it and just live - enjoy life for what it is; a point I think we could all take note of. Many of us need to allow ourselves to feel the way we do, accept the feeling but also learn to step away from it and carry on living.. It links to Buddhists concept of detachment. We need to allow emotions to fully penetrate you, feel them and detach yourself from it and then "concentrate on all the good things in life" because they do not last forever.

Morrie Schwartz believes "the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in", in terms of finding a meaningful life according to the professor we must: "Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." Although Morrie Schwartz died on 4 November 1995, his teachings still exist today- as quoted by the professor himself, even when you die "you still live on - in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here", it's fair to say he definitely touched mine and every other reader who has ever picked up the book.

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