Tuesdays with Morrie
The novel, Tuesdays with Morrie written by Mitch Albom, teaches us how to prepare ourselves for death by having a life full of passion. The story is based on truth, and it is about a sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, who has gotten ALS (a terminal disease which gradually destroys the nervous system). Instead of despairing, Morrie starts his final project about the meaning of life. Not only does he believe that he is a bridge between life and death but also, he thinks he is so lucky to have adequate time to watch his "living funeral" and say farewell to his beloved ones. The narrator of the book is a graduate student from Brandeis University who has become a workaholic, and after sixteen years, when he was informed about his favorite professor's disease, he comes to visit him. At their last classes, which were held on Tuesdays, they discuss the most crucial issues of life such as aging, marriage, family and forgiveness. In my opinion, this book is a guide for reaching a meaningful life.
Among the sentences we notice some aphorisms and quotes that present the main idea of a chapter or bring up the connection between concepts. For instance, the quote "love each other or perish" and the aphorism "once you learn how to die, you learn how to live" are repeated in several related chapters. When Morrie says that family is spiritual security, the importance of the family can be concluded explicitly. When he talks about aging and declares he doesn't envy youths because he has incredible experiences from each period of his life, including old age, we understand we should use our life time efficiently. While Morrie is talking about the passion and love, he answers one of my most challenging question. I used to ask myself how this life could be meaningful when we were all going to die. The answer was two succinct statements. "Death ends the life, not a relationship" and "Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone." I think these answers and aphorisms are one of the most important elements of this book which give us concise summaries of each chapter.
Another feature which makes the book precious is that we learn all these witticisms from an agnostic person. Agnostic people have no idea about how the afterlife is going to be and whether God exists or not. This factor gives the book a flexibility that makes it instructive for both people who believe in an afterlife and ones who don't. Although the narrator asks Morrie about different religions and beliefs, the main points are all restricted to this life. Afterlife, pleasant or dreadful, comes to all of us whether we like it or not. Maybe this life is the only thing we have, so we have to use it efficiently. Or maybe we are going to experience a better life after this one, so why shouldn't we have both of them satisfying? That is why I say this element has played a prominent role in making this book applicable for everyone.
The book is not in chronological order for two main reasons. At the end of each chapter, the author has written about memorial moments with Morrie and his years in university. He describes their first encounter, their classes and even professor's opinion about reincarnation. Also, some chapters are allocated for professor's childhood, and how he became such a wise man despite his irresponsible father and his mother's death. Furthermore, some chapters talk about Mitch's wrong decisions after his graduation and his brother who is suffering from pancreatic cancer which also killed his favorite uncle.
The rating I give Tuesdays with Morrie is an eight out of ten. There is no doubt that I recommend it to others, but first, I should recognize whether the reader cares about the plot, or not. The only weak spot of the book is its monotonous plot. However, we cannot totally blame the author for that because, as I mentioned, the story is based on truth. As a result, we shouldn't expect the plot to engross the reader. The influence of the book on my daily life is undeniable. I used to eat my meals in a hurry and sometimes lose my temper for frivolous issues. These days, when I eat launch at college, I try to enjoy it as much as possible. Also, I avoid any light-minded arguments with others. To summarize, the whole book is a wonderful teacher, but its class seems to be a little boring. Morrie Schwartz passed away in peace, yet he has left his final thesis, human's life manual, for us.