Let me begin with a disclaimer that this is not a review! This is just my perception of a book and my personal reactions after reading this book. I stopped naming my articles on books as reviews some time back because they are not those. I am putting all of them in literature section coz they refer to some piece of literature.”Tuesdays With Morrie” is a series of discussions between Morrie Schwartz and his ex-student Mitch Albom, made in to a book by Mitch Albom. I recently came to know that it was made in to a movie too. Well, coming to the point, this book is about living life. It can be understood as a sort of “Art of Living”. I am using this phrase because it can reach people better owing to its popularity.
This is a tale of great optimism. Ofcourse, there are lots of other things in the book, but what fascinated me the most was Morrie’s optimism. I feel its very difficult to maintain such a degree of optimism given Morrie’s condition.The book stresses on the role of ‘LOVE’ in one’s life. “the most important thing in life is how to give out love and how to let it come in” Morrie says at one place. Personally, I never thought of the importance of displaying love and affection. But, this gave a new dimension for me. Being open…..again…Morrie Schwatrz and his openness of thought amazed me. I am a sort of propagandist for remaining a hidden person…. 🙂 But, Morrie very logically proved that his option is a better one.
“Only Open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone”
is Morrie’s maxim. I think i have became more open with people since i read this book. Morrie appears to hate self-pity. “Accept what you are and revel in that” – he says to Mitch at one instance.He gives a lot of importance to “feeling”.
That was obvious from some of his experiences mentioned in the book. “sometimes you can’t believe what you see. You have to believe what you feel” is his philosophy. When Morrie was saying about being open, being emotional and all that stuff, I didn’t understand one thing: Shouldn’t one have self-control? Morrie himself answered this question saying: “You let the emotion penetrate you fully. Thats how you will leave it”. Well….. that sounds pretty true for me. If u revel in the emotion, ultimately we will surpass it. Self Control can be achieved in the next stage i guess.
A teacher……I always had a great respect for the profession and wondered if i can be a good teacher at any time in my life…. Mitch Albom used Henry Adam’s quote in this book which talks about his own teacher. Here runs the quote:” A teacher affects eternity. He never knows where his influence stops”. Well….Just as Mitch Albom found Morrie, I found some good teachers and this statement made me salute them inside myself once again. Yes… a teacher-student relation is a life long relation if it can be continued and a good teacher is GOD. What do you say?? “achaarya devobhava!
“Morrie’s spirit amazes me even now…almost 4 months after reading the book. His optimism…..i salute him. When asked how he got that spirit, he answers..with his favourite aphorism- “Once you know how to die, you know how to live.” May be this is true indeed…..I am not sure. But….Looking Morrie’s life(looking in the sense….reading), i believe it is true. “Everyone knows that they are going to die. But nobody believes it”. i think this is meant satirically towards poeple and their hypocrisy. “Death ends a life, not a relationship” – This I dont understand what he meant. Did he believe in Life after death? was he speaking of memories? or was he speaking about our good deeds? I am not sure.
Morrie’s idea of “living funeral” – I thought it pretty impractical though. He made it happen-thats a different thing. Once, Morrie’s frend dies and he attends the funeral. people talk all good things about his frend and morrie feels that his frend is unlucky for not hearing all those things. hence, he organises a living funeral for himself. That is…..people come and speak about Morrie as they would in his funeral. But, actually Morrie is right in front of them and listens to those elegys and dirges with them. I doubt if people react in the same way in a “living funeral” as they do for a “real funeral”.
When we read of the Kutch earth quake or of Tsunami or of the orissa floods or of many such natural calamities or accidents which sounded death knells to many people, we unconsciously feel sorry for them. This is true even for not so emotional persons too…as far as i could gather. Morrie says- “may be death is a great equaliser. the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another.” – seems true. “Photographs, tapes, videos etc are desparate attempts to steal something from death’s suitcase”. Yes…..i vouch by every word of it. This may be because it was personally very touching for me…may be i was drawing parellels with the book i read and myself again.
“Dont let go so soon. But dont hang on for so long” – I found different perceptions reading this phrase each time.The book ends in Morrie’s death but it leaves us thinking. It is a learning experience to read this book. Though I am not into this kind of life…death stuff, i liked the book for its sheer simplicity. It provided answers for some of my many bothering questions…. 🙂 It does not appear so..but it has the capability to be a treatise on optimism. It is simple yet..not so simple. It is complex….yet, not at all complex. Good book over all. Without ever knowing anything about the book except the name and the fact that it was a teacher student conversation, i wanted to read the book since long. I should thank this frend of mine who gave me the book to read.