Lessons Learned from Tuesday’s with Morrie and How Elders View Life

Several conversations have been had about the roll on the elderly community. Many may believe that once you become older in age you have no role in society except collecting a retirement check. However, we seem to forget the elderly community was once just as young and youthful as we are today. As a person ages it is usually their siblings, children, spouse responsibility to take care of them. Nevertheless, FrameWorks Institute (2015) study found:” The public holds individuals largely responsible for solving their aging challenges, for example, by making “good” lifestyle choices to preserve their health and engaging in “responsible” financial planning to guarantee retirement security. This focus on individual responsibility mute’s attention to our shared responsibility as a nation to ensure that our older residents are well supported and experience well-being.” This paper examines how elder’s quality of life is a shared responsibility between themselves and the world as their caregivers.

Tuesdays With Morrie was composed by Mitch Albom in Detroit, Michigan. In the start of Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom reminisces back to the day he moved away from his school, Brandeis University in 1979. One of his favorite teachers Morrie Schwartz gave him a tan portfolio with his initials engraved in the front before he left. After guaranteed he would remain in contact with Morrie, however he never fell through with that guarantee. Mitch eventually went on to earn a graduate degree in news coverage and accepting a profession as a game essayist. Mitch contemplated Morrie every once in a while, until something got his ear while sitting in front of the TV. when Mitch was flipping through channels and ran over ABC-TV’s ‘Nightline’ with the host Ted Koppel. He heard Ted state ‘Who is Morrie Schwartz?’ Mitch rented a car that night and drove to Morrie home in Boston and was surprised to see his old professor. When Mitch maneuvered into the driveway, he saw Morrie standing outside with a moderately aged lady who appeared to be his now caregiver. Morrie’s health at that pointed reflected his poor appearance. The two of them headed inside the house where Morrie said delicately to Mitch, ‘You realize that I’m biting the dust’ (Albom, 1997, p. 29).

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After that night Mitch and Morrie had an agreement. Each Tuesday Mitch headed to visit Morrie where they had an alternate subject every week to talk about. These subjects incorporated the world, feeling frustrated about yourself, grievances, passing, family, feelings, cash, marriage, forgiveness, the ideal day, and bidding farewell. Mitch would also through in some of Morrie’s favorite meals when he came to visit. However, that came to a halt when Morrie’s ALS started progressing, Morrie soon had to transition to a liquid diet. Mitch brought a recording device so he could record the life lessons and stories that Morrie had to tell. Mitch loved visiting Morrie until his dying day.

Recently in my long-term care class we were tasked with a project of interviewing an elder kind of like how Mitch did his once teacher Morrie. Once I found out about this project, I knew it would be easiest to interview my grandmother. My grandmother moved in with me when I was in the sixth grade after previously living by herself in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. My grandmother had recently turned 78 years old, so I gave her a shot at the interview. At first, I was reluctant to interview her because she is usually a private person. She really does not like to share much about her feelings so I didn’t think the interview will go very well. I had to figure out how could I get all the questions that needed to be answered for the interview out of her. But that was the least of my worries, what I was really worried about was her being filmed. My grandmother hates being on camera, so I had to sneak and record the interview. I set up my camera and told her that I only had to record myself even though it was really recording her. The interview didn’t last the time requirement that was said by the teacher however she did answer most of the questions. Maybe not as in-depth but there was no surprise to me. This interview many things they also related to Mitch and Morrie’s conversations that they had every Tuesday. Even though my grandmother is private unlike Morrie there were some similarities that I was able to take away from both the book and the interview.

[bookmark: _Hlk34604547] In Tuesdays With Morrie, I found three themes that best fit the novel, remaining positive and adjusting through troubling times, building trust by opening new relationships, and teaching yourself through other experiences.

The issue introduced in Tuesdays with Morrie is when Morrie discovered he had been determined to have ALS. Morrie had to change his everyday procedures to adapt his new diagnoses. Morrie now had to depend entirely on Connie, his guardian, to help him perform the everyday procedures that he once could do. Morrie needs to settle on a tremendous decision when he becomes ill: to lounge around and feel frustrated about himself or get moving and have as quite a bit of an effect as he can. It’s a demonstration of will, and he needs to change the way he takes a glimpse at things. What the two men acknowledge is this, however: Life is improved by the way that we can settle on decisions. This is a piece of what makes being alive important. Morrie educates Mitch that there is nothing to fear with maturing and aging, and that it is normal for everyone to go through in their life. He says everything comes in steps and you simply need to confront each progression as another test or opportunity. I can relate this to my interview because even though my grandmother is not going through an illness. She has been through many adversities in life that have required her to undergoes changes. For example, in my interview with my grandmother she talked about how she was widowed. my grandfather passed away when I was two years old in 2002 and my grandmother have been living on her own for 10 years. However, my grandmother started getting very paranoid and weary in Tuscaloosa so she asked my mother when I was in the sixth grade could she come to Birmingham and stay with us. So that was a Jasmine that she had to make in her life it was also adjustment for me and my family. She no longer went to the same doctor she had in Tuscaloosa, she no longer went to the same church we attended, she no longer has the same friends that she once it in Tuscaloosa. Since she does not drive, we had to adjust around taking her places to the store, doctors office, pharmacy for her everyday needs. Nevertheless, we and she all remained optimistic about the new change moving forward into her life because we knew that this was about to be her permanent location until her last days. We even made it more comfortable for her by adding on a grandmother sweet to our house so that she had all the things that she wanted him to do it on her own side of the house.

The next theme in the book that I can relate to the interview is building trust by opening new relationships. ‘Love one another or parish’ is Morrie’s favored line by writer W. H. Auden, and it is the directing way of thinking of Morrie’s life. He accepts there is nothing as significant as associations with companions, family, and the community. Watching Morrie’s relationships evolve throughout his life as he gets sicker put a test to his favorite quote. Morrie returns on and on over the significance of family and community, particularly considering his weakening health situation. Morrie’s self-made culture is, at its heart, about organizing individuals and connections over the need and gathering for material things. He tries to get however many guests as could reasonably to visit him and answer to a great part of the mail he gets following his interview. This cooperation with his community is necessarily essential to Morrie, as he utilizes his position to spread what he’s found out about existence and death. Morrie’s family is exceptionally close; his children and his better half, Charlotte, are around to help him through his sickness. Morrie accepts profoundly in familial obligation, saying that his family can’t decide not to help him through his ailment like a companion could. There’s a couple in the book can relate to my grandmother and so different ways. My grandfather has been deceased for at least 10 years after she had moved in with us. My grandmother has four kids and only one other one was able to move them into their house. Which was my mom my aunt stays about 20 minutes away from me in Birmingham, but she already had five people in her house and her husband was a chronic smoker which wasn’t good for my grandmother’s health. Since my grandmother moved in with us, she had to adapt to meeting new people and starting to relationships. Most of her now current relationships come from our church members. She stated that in her interview that she participates in the senior citizens Bible study at our church at guiding light on Tuesday evenings. They eat fellowship, play games and also learn about stories in the Bible that’s broken down to a level that they will understand. My grandmother had to adapt from her old friends that she was used to in Tuscaloosa to now being a part of this new community and making new friends. which I can’t say she has done well, her friend from church call her up every day and they gossip on the phone.

The last theme that occurs in the book that I can correlate to my interview is that you can learn things through other people’s experiences. At different occasions all through the book, Mitch depicts the book he’s composed as a ‘long paper’ or a last postulation, composed for the last ‘class’ – a class containing just Mitch – that his perishing school teacher, Morrie, will instruct. The total of the content, at that point, is revolved around instructing and learning. The book takes its structure from Morrie’s ‘class’ schedule – every week/section is a talk in Morrie’s group on death – and centers around what is instructed as well as on the instructor/student relationship forming between the two men. As their relationship advances, Mitch turns out to be increasingly responsive to Morrie’s exercises and starts to apply them to his own life. Their relationship becomes an approach to learn, yet a model for how to have ground-breaking connections with others can be. In the interview with my grandmother she could tell me what her views on the future were but when I asked her the question about what advice she would give to the younger generation she gave me answer. She states, “The world is so wild and crazy the teenagers nowadays don’t know what to do with themselves.” Based off the interview she believes that children should find something productive to do with your life’s besides getting into trouble. She follows up by saying one thing that she will leave behind is that all of her children were successful and have a great life and I didn’t half to get in any trouble. She stated that none of her children have ever went to jail or participate in anything better to do with breaking the law.  She carries on by saying that that was the legacy that wanted to leave behind. Additionally, she stated that many people wanted to know how she keeps her children from getting in trouble all those years. And she replied that they stayed busy by going off to college and getting good jobs.

In the interview with my grandmother she could tell me what her views on the future were but when I asked her the question about what advice she would give to the younger generation she gave me answer. She states, “The world is so wild and crazy the teenagers nowadays don’t know what to do with themselves.” Based off the interview she believes that children should find something productive to do with your life’s besides getting into trouble. She later than states one thing that she will leave behind is that all of her children were successful and have a great life and I didn’t half to get in any trouble. She stated that none of her children have ever went to jail or participate in anything better to do with breaking the law.  She stated that, that was the legacy that wanted to leave behind. Additionally, she stated that many people wanted to know how she keeps her children from getting in trouble all those years. And she replied that they stayed busy by going off to college and getting good jobs. Activities of Daily Living measures assistances in six activities which consist of: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, maintaining continence, and transferring from bed to chair. And my grandmother Ruby Smith is capable of doing all those things well. She concludes by reminding me that she doesn’t fell as if shes old.

Based on the interview with my grandmother will be Smith I was surprised but I got some of those inches out of her. As I previously stated my grandmother has always been a private person even my mother and her siblings agree to that as well. I’ve never really seen my grandmother show many emotions or even talk about her feelings. that’s something that most elderly people probably share in common. The interview adds it to my knowledge that many elderly people don’t consider yourself his old age. Based on an article Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality “Among respondents ages 65 to 74, a third say they feel 10 to 19 years younger than their age, and one-in-six say they feel at least 20 years younger than their actual age.” They associate old age with your ability to do work. However we have been taught in long-term care about ALD’s . Activities of Daily Living measures assistances in six activities which consist of: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, maintaining continence, and transferring from bed to chair. And my grandmother can do all those things well with no hesitation.

This interview and the book gave me a new insight about growing older. One of my grandmother’s hopes is she will be able to live forever however in Tuesday mornings with Morrie he wasn’t afraid to die. Morrie remained optimistic about his passing it was able to comfortably talk about it however it wasn’t that’s not the case for my grandmother this I know.

Conclusion

In conclusion both Tuesday’s with Morrie and the Elder interview both focused on how the elderly viewed themselves. However, I think we should take a look at ourselves and say how are we treating the elderly. Are we making their progressives lives more comfortable for their final days? What are we doing to support and make sure the elderly is felt welcomed in society and are happy? After all they are the ones who have gotten society to where it is now. They are the ones who created the foundations of everything we stand on now.

Citations

  1. Albom, M. (1997). Tuesdays with Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson. New York: Doubleday.
  2. Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality. (2019, December 31). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2009/06/29/growing-old-in-america-expectations-vs-reality/
  3. Harris, T. (2020, February 16th). Personal Interview with R. Smith
  4. Lindland, E., Fond, M., Haydon, A., & Kendall-Taylor, N. (2015). Gauging aging: Mapping the gaps between expert and public understandings of aging in America. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute.

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Lessons Learned from Tuesday’s with Morrie and How Elders View Life. (2022, Jan 04). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/lessons-learned-from-tuesdays-with-morrie-and-how-elders-view-life/