“Life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.” In the novel, Tuesdays with Morrie, the author Mitch Albom spent every Tuesday with his old professor, Morrie, who was suffering from ALS. Morrie was a huge inspiration to Mitch and Mitch took every word Morrie said earnestly. Each day they discussed a new topic about life. Through their talks, Mitch was able to learn that he needed to have faith in carpe diem or else he would miss out on a lot of things in life. The understanding that one only gets one chance at life put many things into perspective for him. Through the progression of the novel, the words which Morrie spoke began to become more clear to Mitch. Mitch’s views of life were drastically altered after his many meetings with his mentor Morrie.
Feeling sorry for oneself is something everyone does whether healthy or sick. Mitch often asked Morrie if he pitied himself while in the process of death. Morrie responded by saying, “It’s horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it’s also wonderful because of all the time I get to say goodbye… Not everyone is so lucky” (Albom 57). Through Morries choice of the word “lucky”, it caught Mitch by surprise. Morrie pushed Mitch to think of all the people who spend hours of their day in self pity. This was able to open his eyes and see that if a man dying from such a horrible disease was able to spend only seconds self pitying then he was more than capable too. Feeling self pity is just one of the many emotions Mitch as well as Morrie experienced throughout the book. Even though that, sometimes in life there are more negative emotions than positive ones, it is a very important to experience all of them. Morrie stressed that it was crucial to dive into every emotion fully. He said it allows one to be able to experience them fully and completely but when it is time, you are able to let go. Holding back and being afraid of certain emotions keeps one from ever being able to detach. “Learn to detach… But detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully” (Albom 103). Mitch was able to understand that if you let it penetrate you fully, that allows a door to open for you to be able to leave it. Being able to identify an emotion such as fear allows you to step away from it. Forcing yourself into an emotion to get comfortable with it, won’t hurt it will only help. Through the use of imagery Morrie had Mitch imagine being in a strong emotion such as fear which was able to help him with the understanding of detachment. With emotions, detachment is the key to feeling any and all different types.
In life people have many fears. Two of the biggest fears include; the fear of aging and death. One Tuesday, Morrie began to express to Mitch that, “If you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more” (Albom 118). Aging is just a process of life. Those who fear aging and wish to be young again tend to be unsatisfied with their lives. Looking back in aging makes it competitive. If you have already lived it, find what makes you happy in life and you will no longer feel the urge to want to be young again. Fearing aging will only make one unhappy since it is inescapable. Mitch had wondered if Mitch envied those who are healthy. Morrie admitted he does envy those who are young and healthy but it is an emotion he is able to detach himself from. Instead of focusing on fearing aging he learned how to embrace it. Death is inevitable. Through their conversations, Morrie taught Mitch to be prepared for death and when the time comes that the best way to deal with it is it accept it. The best advice Morrie provided Mitch with was, “once you learn how to die, you learn how to live” (Albom 82). Mitch was able to understand that in life people are too focused on the things we feel we have to do instead of focusing on the essentials. Through his candid and optimistic tone, Morrie was able to push Mitch to keep a positive outlook on life despite the difficulties. As well as his tone, Morrie used repetition to to make sure that Mitch absorbed the most important part of his lessons.
Close to the end of Morrie’s life, he discussed the topics of how love goes on and marriage. Mitch asked Morrie if he was afraid of being forgotten after he dies. Morrie wasn’t afraid of being forgotten because “Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone” (Albom 133). Morrie emphasized that there is no reason to worry about being forgotten after death because those who are truly important and really care will always remember. After hearing someone’s voice repeatedly, over time it will begin to stick with you. When one is not with someone, just by imagining their voice is a way to show they are still with them. Mitch began to understand that it is important to not be in such a rush in life. Learning how to pay attention to someone is key so take the time to do so. Mitch had mentioned that his generation struggled with commitment. He wondered if it was because the people of his generation were being selfish. Morrie explained it as, if one does not understand themself then they are going to have a hard time learning how to love and understand someone else. Morrie said that in order for marriage to work you have to be willing to respect one another, figure out how to compromise, learn how to talk openly, and work to find a set of values which you both share. Marriage can be tricky if two are not willing to work with one another. As Mitch watched how Morrie interacted with his wife, he saw that they worked as a team and understood one another even when in silence. The words which he spoke about how to keep a marriage running, all became more clear to Mitch. Through the use of imagery, Morrie was able to help Mitch imagine how to keep a marriage working. He had him think about the different gears within a marriage to keep it spinning.
As each Tuesday passed, and Morrie discussed new topics on life with Mitch, Mitch’s views on life and how to live were changed for the better. “In Tuesdays with Morrie, the dying Schwartz encourages Albom to slow down and appreciate the life he has been given” (Gale Contextual). Despite the challenges and obstacles faced in a lifetime, it is important to focus on the good in life. Those who focus on the bad tend to lead a more negative and unhappy life. Morrie repeatedly stressed that one is only given one chance at life, so why not live the best life one can. He also accentuated “the importance of seizing the moment… not living to regret neglected opportunities, and with forging connections to people, even at the expense of ambitious individualism” (Encyclopedia of American). While watching Morrie’s body wither away, Mitch was able to learn to never have regrets in life. Those who live each day like it’s their last and focus on the positives will never have regrets. All of the lessons the two men discussed each Tuesday had
Life is a beautiful thing which you only get one chance at, so live life to the fullest. Throughout the novel, Tuesdays with Morrie, the author, Mitch Albom, went into depth about the conversations him and his old professor, Morrie who was suffering from ALS, discussed every Tuesday. As the novel progressed, the topics that were covered include feeling sorry for oneself, emotions, fear of aging, death, how love goes on, and marriage. From what Mitch said, Morrie used imagery, tone, repetition and dialogue to get Mitch to have a better understanding on life. Mitch’s views of life were drastically altered after his many meetings with his mentor Morrie. Morrie is the man that Mitch will never forget.