Saturday, 24 September 2011

tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

Title: tuesdays with Morrie
Author: Mitch Albom
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 2009
First Published: 1997 
Pages: 192
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

"When you learn how to die, you learn how to live."

Mitch Albom writes the true story of getting back in touch with his college professor and mentor, Morrie Schwartz, nearly twenty years after they have last seen each other, when he learns that he is dying from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). What starts as a reconnection with one of the most influential people from his past turns into one final classroom lesson. The subject? Life.

tuesdays with Morrie is a beautiful life affirming book which not only presents a wonderful story but provides the opportunity to re-address the values you have in your own life.
"Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it." pg 35
His "class" subjects with Albom include a variety of things in our lives that we seem to always have questions about; our culture, regrets, death, family, emotions, fear of aging, money, love, marriage and forgiveness. 
"You have to find what's good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue." pg 120
One of my favourite sections was on emotions. I think a lot of it was due to my frame of mind having just lost a beloved family pet. It really helped me to experience the book in a different way than if I had read it at any other time. Morrie suggests that we throw ourselves into emotions, embrace them, understand what they are and how they make us feel, and then let them go. "you experience them fully and completely". It allows us to then recognise our own emotions and to not fear them. I found it incredibly healing to think that I could embrace my grief and to not feel guilty or embarrassed for feeling so much grief about a pet, embrace it and feel it, and then let it go.
"Most of us all walk around as if we're sleepwalking. We really don't experience the world fully, because we're half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do." pg 83
tuesdays with Morrie is a truly uplifting book that allows us to re-connect with our own values and to analyse whether we are living to those ideals, while providing opportunities to remember those mentors in our lives who have shaped who we are.
"But the big things - how we think, what we value - those you must choose yourself. You can't let any-one - or any society - determine those for you." pg 155

Read It

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