Tuesdays with Morrie was top of the pile of my randomly selected books. At first glance I wasn`t too excited at the prospects of reading the book as it appeared to me to be about a young man watching an old man die.
Morrie Schwartz – the old man in question – was Mitch Albom`s college professor from twenty years earlier. At college Morrie and Mitch`connected` on both an intellectual and an emotional level. Both had a healthy respect for the other and Morrie saw in Mitch someone who could achieve great things in the future.
At graduation, Mitch gives Morrie a briefcase with his initials on it as a thank you gift for being a great teacher – one of those special teachers who is passionate about their subject and their pupils and go the extra mile to help in what ever way they can. Mitch promises Morrie that he will keep in touch. He doesn’t. Like most of us, he gets swept along in his own life and doesn’t really think much about keeping his promise to his old professor. He gets a job – probably not the one that he ought to have been destined for, chases the dollar and lives life in the fast lane.
Almost twenty years pass and by chance, Mitch finds out that Morrie has a terminal illness – doesn’t have long left to live – and decides to finally keep his promise and go visit him.
Mitch feels awkward at first, having not thought about Morrie for all these years, but when he arrives at Morrie`s home, he is greeted like an old friend and the ice is soon broken. As they chat away, the years fall away. At the end of the visit, Mitch says he’ll be back again and Morrie decides to give him a lesson in life….The Meaning of Life. Every Tuesday for the next 13 weeks Mitch and Morrie spend time together and through Morrie’s teachings, Mitch starts to question his own priorities…..the job he has…..the lifestyle he leads.
Over the following weeks Mitch and Morrie discuss all sorts of things and never once does Morrie complain about the discomfort he is in, nor does he lament on his imminent death. He accepts things as they are, relishes in the chance to share his knowledge again, and teaches Mitch that in the end “love is all we need” – to quote John Lennon.
It’s a very touching story and one that can teach us all about setting our priorities and what’s really important in life….and death.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed the book immensely and hopefully have leared a few lessons in life from it. I don’t mind admitting that I also shed a tear or two along the way.
It is a sad story, yet at the same time a beautiful one. If I was to score the book out of a possible maximum of five points, I`d have to give it at least a four. Not bad for a book I didn`t want to read in the first place.