December 5, 2010
“When you learn how to die, you learn how to live" (83). After reading those words in “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom, I knew I was going to learn something new, something big, coming from Morrie Schwartz. I tried to pin point the exact theme of the book, and all I could come up with was “when you learn how to die, you learn how to live”. I tried understanding the logic behind those words, and all I could come up with is dying must be the only conclusion to being alive. You must live your life to the fullest in order to learn how to live. Morrie knows he is dying and within this book, he teaches those around him how to accept his death, and teaches them how to live.
People walk around thinking that they are untouchable, or even if you must say, immortal. Most people don’t realize that at any moment the unthinkable can happen. Personally, I’m scared of the concept of “death” and I don’t think I will ever really accept death because for me I am scared of not knowing what happens next. Instead of accepting it, us as a society mostly ride it off and for that, our eyes are closed. Morrie on the other hand is a positive man with his eyes opens and takes each day while being positive. In the book, Morrie says we live life sleepwalking, never fully awake or aware, and it’s sad but there is a very high percent of people who live life that way. As I read in an article called, “Are you sleepwalking your life away”, they state that “sleepwalkers are people who live through their lives in an unconsciousness state. It is not just about being physically awake – Many people around us are awake, yet living unconsciously. They are not fully aware of who they are, the larger context of life they are a part of and their real purpose in life. The shocking thing is that if tomorrow was the day that they were told they had so much time left, is when the little things wouldn’t matter anymore. I think it’s really sad that it takes something as tragic as death for some people to really open there eyes and realize what they have and really deeply take time to appreciate it.
Within this book, Morrie is a dying teacher who gives his last lesson to his favorite student, Mitch Albom. Morrie made three points on his Tuesdays with Mitch that stood out the most to me and those were that you need to learn how to die in order to learn how to live, that it is important to be able to detach yourself from your emotions, and how it is necessary to build one’s own subculture.
Now before I get ahead of myself, I want to go back to the summary of the book. Mitch Albom went to college and had a favorite professor who was Morrie Schwartz. After graduating he had promised to stay in touch with Morrie, and as we all know, at times not all of us stick by that promise. It is unfortunate, but easy, to move to a new place and lose touch with someone as they aren’t there all the time. After a long time, Mitch became a sports journalist and still hadn’t gotten in touch with Morrie over the years until he was watching the news one night, and saw Morrie on T.V.
His professor, who he called “Coach”, had developed ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As stated by the ALS Association, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. From that day on, Mitch spent each Tuesday with Morrie until his death. In the book Morrie had stated, “We are Tuesday people”. When Mitch was still in College, every Tuesday was the day that him and Morrie would get together to talk about school and edit his thesis paper, and so it carried on that they would remain “Tuesday people” till the day Morrie had died. Each week that Mitch went to see Morrie, he would learn a new life lesson from Morrie. A lesson that you couldn’t learn from just anyone.
Morrie talks about how people don’t really know...