An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson…
Once you learn to die, you will learn to live
Author: Mitch Albom
Price: Rs 225
Description: True story on how to live
My rating: 3.5/5
Discovering life has never been easy for any of us. Though we always expect to find out the closest solutions to our problems. But we usually fail to find the true deepness to which we are physically, mentally, socially attached.
‘Tuesdays with Moorie’ by Mitch Albom brings to you the greatest class of your life. Moorie Schwartz, the college professor who taught Mtich Albom nearly twenty years before has now realised that his death his near. Morrie is diagnosed with ALS, a brutal, unforgiving illness of neurological disorder with no cure. But ‘Do I wither up & disappear, or do I make the best of my time left ?’, he thinks. He decides not to wither and would not be ashamed of dying.
Today, Mitch works as a columnist in Detroit. He covers sports events, writes for newspaper, does radio shows. He lives a busy life, for which he is paid handsomely. Through Nightline, a TV show he gets to know about Moorie and his illness, whom he didn’t meet after the graduation day. Finally, he meets his mentor.
Moorie was now on wheelchairs, unable to move legs. He had a better idea. He used to spend his day reading, gossiping with friends, discussing their problems & happiness. He even kept a live funeral. He was unfolding life, like never before.
Moorie at the end of his life decides to take the last class where the subject was ‘Meaning of Life’ which required no books. It was held on every Tuesday at his house. Mitch was the only student. Teaching goes on…
First Tuesday: About the world
Q. Why did he care for the people he don’t even know?
A. The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man said – Love is the only rational act.
Second Tuesday: Feeling sorry for yourself
Q. Did you feel sorry for yourself?
A. Sometimes in the morning. That’s when I mourn what I’ve lost. But then I stop mourning. I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things in my life.
Third Tuesday: About regrets
Q. Did you regret on your death? Did he lament lost friends? Regretting the secrets kept hidden?
A. Its’s what everyone is worried about. The culture doesn’t encourage you to think about such things until you’re about to die. We are so wrapped up with egotistical things career, family, money – we’re so involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying. Is this all I want? Is something missing?
Fouth Tuesday: About death
Everyone knows they’re going to die but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. That way we can be more involved in our life while we’re living. The work you do & the materialistic things might not seem as important. You have to make room for more spiritual things. The loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take things for granted. Learn how to die, and you will learn how to live.
Fifth Tuesday: About Family
The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important. Love each other or perish. Without love, we are birds with broken wings.
Sixth Tuesday: About emotions
Take any emotion- love for a woman, or a grief for a loved one, or fear and pain from deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions- if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them- you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid.
By throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And all that you can say – ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognise that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.’
Same for loneliness- you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely and finally put it aside.
Seventh Tuesday: Fear of aging
As you grow, you learn more. Aging is not just decay. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you are going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die and you live a better life because of it.
Q. Why people say ‘If I were young’ and not ‘I wish I were sixty-five’ ?
A. This reflects unsatisfied and unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven’t found meaning. Because 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. If you’re battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.
Eight Tuesday: About money
There’s a big confusion over what we want versus what we need. You need food, you want chocolate sundae. You have to be honest with yourself. What really gives you satisfaction is- offering others what you have to give. Not money but your time and your concern.
Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. Do the kind of things that com from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied. You will be overwhelmed with what comes back.
Ninth Tuesday: About how love goes on
Love is how you stay alive. You should believe in being fully present. That means you should be with the person you’re with and not think of anything else.
Tenth Tuesday: About marriage
There are few rules about love and marriage- if you don’t respect the other person, if you don’t know how to compromise, if you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, if you don’t have common set of values in life- you are gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike. And the biggest one of those values- your belief in the importance of your marriage.
Eleventh Tuesday: About our culture
The culture we have doesn’t make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Invest in the human family. Invest in the people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.
This doesn’t mean you disregard every rule of your community. The little things you can obey. But the big things- how we think, what we value- those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone or any society determine those for you.
Twelfth Tuesday: About forgiveness
Forgive yourself. Forgive others. For all the things we didn’t do. All the things we should’ve done. You can’t get stuck on the regrets of what should have happened. That doesn’t help. Don’t wait. Not everyone gets the time. Not everyone is lucky.
Thirteenth Tuesday: About the perfect day
Make peace with living. See yourself as part of nature.
As long as we can love each other and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here. Death ends a life, not a relationship.
He answered all the questions that we grapple with, from happiness to aging to having children to death. Of course, there are endless books in market on these subjects, numerous TV shows and plenty of consultation sessions available. But no other than a dying man could have answered the questions clearly.
He believes, ‘Once you learn to die, you will learn to live’.
The book even has plenty of humorous lines that will bring a smile upon you. It perfectly links sorrows and happiness, brings up the inner child in you. It forces you to correlate every issue with your real life and makes you understand things better than ever before. Still it’s not the one, that deserves full marks. Undoubtedly, it’s a book that will leave you deeply touched forever…
I loved this book for its clarity of messages and beautiful instances. Readers will find this book simple and close to soul. Surely, the class of Moorie will blossom your life. All the best !!