Life Lessons with Morrie Shwartz

ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, changed the life of college professor Morrie Shwartz drastically. Upon being diagnosed with the disease, Morrie gave up his favorite activities like dancing due to his complete paralysis. Although one may think such an old man would leave no mark on the world, this was untrue when it came to Morrie. The once energetic, carefree, professor, now paralyzed, spent the remaining days of his life teaching his last, most important lesson: the meaning of life.

Morrie extended his idea of “the meaning of life,” to many specific lessons, one of them being that “Once you learn to die, you learn how to live.” This means, as explained by Morrie to Mitch on the last Tuesday they met, that the acceptance of eventual death will enable you to be able to experience life to the fullest, hence leaving behind no regrets. Morrie explains this to Mitch because he wants Mitch to be able to appreciate the smaller aspects of life. Personally, I too am the type of person to get caught up in the struggles of everyday life and this has genuinely taught me to appreciate the little things in life because truth be told, one day we all will die. It’s our choice to ignore death and live in ignorance and regret or to accept it and live a fulfilled life.

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Another lesson that Morrie left behind is “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.” This means that you shouldn’t just give up on all the things in life that matter, but at the same time, you also shouldn’t get stuck in the moments that will fill you with regrets. Morrie said this to Mitch during the Tuesday they talked about forgiveness. I connect with this because I have known someone, who upon being diagnosed with a medical condition, had just given up on life. They figured that nothing mattered since they were going to die anyways. They were so disheartened and the fact that they had already given up on life, made it much more difficult for me to even help them. There have also been times in my life where I kept thinking about the same things over and over again to the point where it made me mentally exhausted. That is why I know how unhealthy it is to hold on to something for too long.

Although Morrie had left the world, he lived in the hearts of not only his loved ones, but also in the hearts of all the people he touched with his words, including mine.

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Life Lessons with Morrie Shwartz. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from