Tuesdays with Morrie

Published in 1997, written by Mitch Albom, with the leadership and guidance of his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, this under 200 page volume is full of simple answers to existential questions regarding the importance of human existence.

In 1979, Mitch graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.  During his time at Brandeis, he managed to cross the path of not only a Doctor of Sociology, a prominent college professor and a published author, but a friend, a guide and a man that Mitch lovingly referred to as “Coach.”

Nearing 16 years later, after watching a “Nightline” report by Ted Koppel, Mitch discovered that his longtime guide, Morrie, was suffering from ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Mitch had spent his life working in media, specifically as an acclaimed sports columnist. Mitch has been voted America’s #1 Sports Columnist ten times by The Associated Press Sports Editors.

With a successful yet spiritually unrewarding career, Mitch set out to reunite with his longtime friend and “Coach.” Unbeknownst to Mitch, this visit was to be his last thesis.  He met every Tuesday with Morrie, watching his disease progress, tape recording their basic conversations about life.

This “thesis” eventually became a memoir, “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

This volume touched me deeply. The ideals and conversations documented by Mitch exhibit the inherent basic needs that must be met for happiness for spirits existing in a human shell.  Mitch’s writing is not complex, it is precise and on the mark, exhibiting exactly what he meant to portray:  a conversation with a man he admired facing life and death, simultaneous.  

Books such as “Tuesdays with Morrie” prove that the human condition is a fleeting one and that every moment must be savored, admired, in the here and now, not later. I learned that everything I strive to complete really does not matter at this precise moment. What truly matters is that I am grateful for my limbs that work, that I am able to think, speak and write that I practice compassion and kindness to the best of my ability and must continue to do this.  Most importantly, that I am able to love and forgive myself and others for simply being human.

In the words of Morrie himself:

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

Everyone must read this book.  It is one full of aphorisms of wisdom.  It is a volume filled with unconditional love.