Tuesdays with Morrie: What is life?

Mitch and his dying, but full of life and inspiration, professor, Morrie. (http://mitchalbom.com)

I recently completed a very inspiring book about life.  A book that emphasizes the importance of maximizing every moment of each day and fully appreciating the relationships that we have.

Thank you to my friend, Paulette, for introducing me to a book that hs touched my heart: Tuesdays with Morrie.

Each chapter focuses on an aspect of life, that Dr. Morrie Schwartz, professor at Brandeis University in Massachusets, shares with his student (and author of the book), Mitch Albom.

Although a simple read, it was a profound book, as Morrie , who is slowy dying with ALS, has more realizations about the meaning of life, and shares these with his student at his home, every Tuesday.

Some of the life lessons he presents, I want to share with you.  I hope this small taste of his wisdom may also inspire you and allow you to become even more appreciative of what you have in your life.

With love.

 __

The Twelvth Tuesday
We Talk About Forgiveness

“Forgive yourself before you die.  Then forgive others.”

“There is no point in keeping vengeance or stubbornness.  These things”–he sighed–“these things I so regret in my life.  Pride.  Vanity.  Why do we do the things we do?”

The importance of forgiving was my question.  I had seen those movies where the patriarch of the family is on his death bed and he calls for his estranged son so that he can make peace before he goes.  I wondered if Morrie had any of that inside him, a sudden need to say “I’m sorry” before he died?

Morrie nodded…”A friend of mine…His name was Norman.  We used to spend so much time together.  We went swimming.  We took rides to New York.  He had me over to his house in Cambridge, and he sculpted that bust of me down in his basement.  It took several weeks to do it, but he really wanted to get it right.”

…”Well here’s the sad part of the story,” Morrie said.  “Norman and his wife moved away to Chicago.  A little while later, my wife, Charlotte, had to have a pretty serious operation.  Norman and his wife never got in touch with us.  I know they knew about it.  Charlotte and I were very hurt because they never called to see how she was.  So we dropped the relationship.

“Over the years, I met Norman a few times and he always tried to reconcile, but I didn’t accept it.  I wasn’t satisfied with his explanation.  I was prideful.  I shrugged him off.”

His voice choked. 

“Mitch…a few years ago…he died of cancer.  I feel so sad.  I never got to see him.  I never got to forgive.  It pains me now so much…”

…Sorry, I said.

“Don’t be,” he whispered.  “Tears are okay.”

I continued rubbing lotion into his lifeless toes.  He wept for a few minutes, alone with his memories.

“It’s not just other people we need to forgive, Mitch,” he finally whispered.  We also need to forgive ourselves.”

Ourselves?

“Yes.  For all the things we didn’t do.  All the things we should have done.  You can’t get stuck on the regrets of what should have happened.  That doesn’t help you when you get to where I am.

“I always wished I had done more with my work; I wished I had written more books.  I used to beat myself up over it.  Now I see that never did any good.  Make peace.  You need to make peace with yourself and everyone around you.”

“Forgive yourself. Forgive others.”

Albom, M. (1997). Tuesdays with morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson. (pp. 164-167). New York, USA: Broadway Books.

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