If you are lost, want to find purpose and give your life meaning, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is for you.
This is a true story told by a former student about the time he spent having conversations with his professor Morrie about life’s greatest lessons. Every Tuesday, the old professor and the student met to learn about the meaning of life. The only requirement was to ask and answer questions, as well as help the professor complete tasks that he was unable to carry out due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Those Tuesdays they covered the topics of life, death and everything in between. As Morrie’s health worsened, their conversations deepened. They were running out of precious time. From talking about their own regrets, to what makes the perfect day, their conversations give the reader a sense of awakening. The duo takes a complex subject and simplifies it, showing the lesson behind it.
One important aspect of this book is that it is written by someone who acknowledges that his professional ambition has gotten in the way of many things in his life. Mitch asks himself: “What happened to me?” In front of Morrie, a man whose days were numbered, all he could think about was the promise he had made to himself when he was younger — to not work for money, to join the Peace Corps and live in “beautiful and inspirational places.”
During one of their visits, Morrie says “if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” Mitch reflects on the culture that he had created for himself over the years, and realizes that work had been his only priority.
“I had taken labor as my companion and moved everything to the side,” Mitch wrote.
The illuminating thing about this story is that it is told from a perspective of a healthy, young man who is learning from, and holding on to what is left of, someone older and wiser. Someone who he admired and loved, about to greet death’s kiss.
Mitch’s experience is not unheard of. When you live in a culture that places value in being busy or “productive” over everything else, it is almost impossible to imagine a life that isn’t fast paced. Over and over, this book sheds light on the importance of slowing down and taking in your surroundings.
The novel is interestingly written, jumping around from the past to the present, following Mitch’s memories. While the book mainly focuses on the protagonist’s meaningful interactions with the professor, it also covers some darker aspects of Mitch and Morrie’s personal lives, which are revealed as the story progresses.
This blend of light and dark moments is what makes it very easy to get lost within the pages, empathize with the characters and truly experience the book for what it is. If you are looking for something real — something that will help bring you closer to finding yourself and understanding the world around you at the same time, read this book.
You will find the answers you are looking for somewhere inside.
Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro | Culture Editor
Photo: Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro | Culture Editor