Friday, December 26, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie - An old man, a young man and Life's greatest lessons

I chanced upon this book at a book fair and on recommendation from my better half's friend, thought I should give it a read. A light read, Tuesdays with Morrie covers the last class, a series of conversations, between a professor, Morrie Schwartz, and his favorite pupil, the author of this book, Mitch Albom. Morrie Schwartz, a professor at Brandeis is diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, a debilitating disease causing muscle atrophy that comes with a death sentence, a few months after contraction. His favorite student, Mitch Albom has graduated from college, forgotten about his past, fully immersed in the pressures of daily life and is in hot pursuit of career laurels for a full 16 years before he sees his dying teacher on television and tries to get in touch with him again.

Morrie is glad to see Mitch back and they decide to meet every tuesday (as they did in college)and Morrie delivers his thoughts about things that Mitch has made a note off. They cover family, career, death and other aspects of life. As Morrie goes through pains of approaching death, he feels he can shed light to people who have seen life, but not death.

While reading the book, I felt a little bit guilty of my own self-centered busy life, devoting very little cycles to keep in touch with people who have shaped my life. Many of Morrie's thoughts are not new, but once in a while someone needs to highlight them and remind us, this is exactly what the book does. Some of Morrie's thoughts are also borrowed from Zen-buddhism. Though the 180-page book doesn't give any new insights or change your perspective dramatically, it does refresh your values and brings focus into things that actually make our lives worth living. I remembered one of my instructors always telling me to "invest in people", a theme that comes out in the book too.

Here are few quotes from the book,

"Love each other or perish." - The central theme of the book.

"Once you know how to die, you know how to live."

"You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean."

"If you can accept that you can die at any time - then you might not be as ambitious as you are."

"People are only mean when they're threatened."

"Death takes away life, not relationships."
"You live on - in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here."


sandeep said...

Good to see the review,

Your summary does a very good job communicating the essence of the book.

Harini Sridharan said...


You're right - most such books don't tell you stuff you don't know, but stuff that we just dont take the time to realize and act upon.

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell about whether this book "Wednesday With Morrie", is trnslated in Gujarati?
if not anyone can do it ?