"Tuesdays with Morrie" is, without a doubt, one of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, now a division of Random House, most infamous backlist publication. Published in the fall of 1997, "Tuesdays with Morrie" captures the spirit and life lessons of a Brandeis University sociology professor. Written from the point of view of Mitch Albom, former student of Morrie Schwartz and 10 times voted No. 1 sports columnist by the Associated Press, the book chronicles the last days of Morrie and the knowledge he shares with Mitch.
"Tuesdays with Morrie" will move you in many ways. It will inspire you, motivate you, make you shed a tear (or two, maybe three), make you reflect on your life and make you chuckle. More importantly, "Tuesdays with Morrie" exemplifies what schools, colleges and universities are so desperately lacking. Today’s classrooms are in a desperate shortage of compassion, something today’s generation need. Career skills are important, but what good are they if the individual lacks personal development. How can one operate solely on career skills? Morrie not only educated students, but also taught how to communicate, how to have compassion and the importance of community.
I gathered several lessons from the bound collection of 192 pages. Here are 11 of my favorite quotes and the lessons behind them:
1. Love is the only rational act. “We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levine said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”
2. Be fully present. “Be fully present—that means you should be with the person you’re with. When I’m talking to you now, I try to keep focused only on what is going on between us…….I am not thinking about what’s coming up this Friday.”
3. Love others. “Devote yourself to loving others.”
4. Don’t cling to things. “Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
5. Learn to forgive. “Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others.”
6. Love your community. “Devote yourself to loving your community.”
7. Have purpose. “Devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
8. Give to others. “The satisfaction comes from offering others what you have to give.”
9. Learn to detach. “Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it. 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. Afraid of pain, you’re afraid of grief. You’re afraid of vulnerability that loving entails.
10. Don’t look back. “You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And age is not a competitive issue.”
11. Don’t fear aging. “Aging is not just decay, it’s growth—if you stayed 22 you’ll always be as ignorant as 22.”
“All young people should know something—if you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen any how.”