Mitch Albom spent each Tuesday with Morrie, his former professor, who was very ill with ALS. He had lost track of his mentor and saw this as a second chance. This story resonates with many of us who has in our past someone who understood us when we were searching. Maybe it was a grandparent, a teacher, or just someone older who was wiser at the time.
Albom had taken his relationship with his favorite professor for granted since his collage days and when he learned of his terminal illness, he decided to visit him. The visits that followed helped Mitch see what really mattered. He found Morrie’s “belief in Humanity” as his most powerful lesson. He said that Morrie took nothing for granted and gave those who he spoke with his undivided attention. Morrie said that “Love is the only rational answer” and that was always clear from his communication.
The book starts out with the first chapter telling us by its title, “The Curriculum”, much of what the book tells us. The chapter starts out: “The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was The Meaning of Life (see post on this). It was taught from experience.”
Albom said that “if Professor Morris Schwartz taught me anything at all, it was this: there is no such thing as “too late” in life. He was changing until the day he said good-bye.” As the book winds up, we are told “the teaching goes on.”
“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.”
“Maybe death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another”