Tuesdays with Morrie is the story of an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.
The two main characters in this book are Mitch Albom, who is a sportswriter from the Detroit area, and Morrie Schwartz, who used to be Mitch’s Sociology professor from Brandeis University.
Mitch and Morrie have a deep student-teacher relationship. When Mitch graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, he made a promise to Morrie that he’ll keep in touch but it would be 16 years till he would see his teacher again.
Young Mitch had a passion to play the piano when he was in college. He enrolled in a sociology class and that is where he met Morrie Schwartz. A man who will go on to have a profound impact on his life.
Morrie Schwartz was a kind, fun-loving man. He had a heart of gold, and all he wanted to do was to give. Mitch and Morrie hit it right off from the start. Mitch would fondly call Morrie as coach.
Mitch Graduates from college in 1979 and makes a promise to Morrie that he would keep in touch. Sadly, as it often happens, the promise is broken life gets in the way.
Mitch gives up his dream of making it as a musician and takes up a job as a sportswriter for a Detroit Newspaper.
Morrie Schwartz had asthma in his 60s and Morrie’s health declined in his mid-70s when he contracted Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS.
It snips the connection between your brain and muscles and leads to atrophy. It first got to his legs, leaving him in a wheelchair.
Mitch becomes a workaholic, working close to 90-100 hours a week. He has no time for anybody, even his wife Janine. Morrie is now long forgotten by Mitch.
He lived on the phone and made dozens of calls a day, but he couldn’t make that one call to Morrie.
One day while flipping channels he sees his old college professor giving an interview with Ted Koppel’s Nightline show.
Mitch, on seeing his professor after all these years, frail and weak feels guilty and ashamed for not meeting him all these years. He decides to make a visit right then and there.
Here Mitch was 37 and unhappy while Morrie was 78 and dying and was 10 times happier than he was. He wanted to know how?
Mitch called Morrie and introduced himself and asked Morrie if he remembered him. Morrie says how come you didn’t call me Coach. Morrie hadn’t forgotten.
Tuesdays with Morrie
A Teacher always has an effect on you. No matter how many years have passed, you are the student, and the teacher is the teacher.
Mitch makes time for Morrie and pays him a visit every Tuesday to see how he is doing. This was their last thesis together. We are Tuesday people, Morrie says.
They talk about love, death, relationships, money, and spirituality. These lessons go on for 14 weeks.
Morrie had a complete lack of self-pity, even when he had become almost dependent on others to take care of him. He gives some time for self-pity during the day and that’s all.
When people come to pay Morrie a visit after learning about his condition, He doesn’t speak about his illness instead he talks about them and their problems. He was giving as an adult and taking as a child.
Mitch was too absorbed in his work, which damages his relationship with his wife. Mitch now brings a tape recorder to record Morries’ voice in his visits as he has a hard time speaking.
Morrie asks Mitch some thought-provoking questions, to which he squirms uneasily.
Are you living the life you want to live?
Are you the person you want to be, Mitch?
What do we know when we can look death square in the face that puts all of life in perspective?
The Main lesson behind Morries Philosophy is this assume tomorrow is going to be your last day on this earth how would you approach it? You wouldn’t go chasing materialistic things you’d try to spend all the time you have with your loved ones.
Why not do this when you have the time and before it’s too late. Sometimes you need to slow down and smell the roses.
There is a reason we don’t live forever: if we did nothing would matter. Each day we live is precious. We must Love each other or we perish was one of Morries’ favourite quotes.
The reason people chase things Morrie says is that they are looking for love. They substitute material things for love and it never satisfies them.
The 14th Tuesday was Morries’ last class. In his last conversation with Mitch, he says Death ends a life but not a relationship. We must all love one another or we die.
When we are dying, we need others to survive in between we need others even more. Once you learn how to die you learn how to live.
Morrie, in a feeble tone, says when I’m gone pay me a visit preferably on Tuesday. We’re Tuesday people Mitch. You talk and I’ll listen.
Sadly Morrie died on a Saturday Morning. There would be no next class on Tuesday. He wanted to go serenely, and that is how he went.
Everybody has had a teacher in their life that’s made a difference. For Mitch it was Morrie, and the class met on Tuesdays. No books were required. The subject was the meaning of life. It was taught from experience and the teaching goes on.
The book came out in 1997 and still resonates with people all over the world today. Mitch Albom primarily wrote the book to pay Morrie’s medical bills.
He was rejected multiple times until finally, he got one publisher to agree. People read the book and passed it on and it got into the hands of Oprah and the rest is history. A small ripple caused a massive effect.
This book is still taught in schools today and read at weddings and funerals.