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Saturday, September 22, 2007

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE

By the time I finished this book, I had started feeling lonely…but this book is not supposed to make someone lonely…it is supposed to be the “life’s greatest lessons”. Perhaps the loneliness was due to the element of “death”, which is used to build the concept….

Thus, the first day of the weekend was spent listening the discussions of an old dying professor with one of his old students….and after reading this I don’t think its possible to sleep tonight….The name of this book can be easily guessed…. “Tuesdays with Morrie”

I normally don’t like mentioning the details of any book in my blog...just to avoid killing the interest of any person to read the book. But this time, please excuse me...yet...let me assure that whatever I write here is no way capable of stealing the suspense and thus the interest of readers (for those who are yet to read this book).

This book is about the fourteen Tuesdays that Mitch had spent with his dying professor Morrie...conversing with him...or rather listening to him...about different stuff.

The first Tuesday was devoted to understand the “world”. Different people view the world differently.But from the eyes of Morrie “Death is a great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another."

The second Tuesday was for discovering the feeling of “being sorry for yourself”. A long discussion which made Mitch wonder “I knew so many people who spent many of their waking hours feeling sorry for themselves. How useful it would be to put a daily limit to self pity”.

“Regrets”…was the topic of discussion for the third Tuesday. From the voice of Morrie “ The culture doesnot encourage to think about certain things until you are about to die. We are so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks – we are 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? Is this all I want? Is something missing"?

The fourth Tuesday was devoted to discuss “death”. To be prepared for the death makes one more involved with life. This is how Morrie discusses on “how to prepare for death”.

“Do what the Buddhist do. Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks – Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be? Is today the day I die"?

On the fifth Tuesday, Morrie and Mitch discussed 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. As our great poet Auden said – Love each other or perish”.

The sixth Tuesday was meant for “emotions”. Morrie explains – “learn to detach. Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent. But detachment doesnot 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”.

On the seventh Tuesday, they talked about the “fear of aging”.

"The truth is part of me is every age. I am three year old, I am five year old, I am thirty seven year old, I am fifty year old. I have been through all of them, and I know what its like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when its appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be. I can be every age up to my own.”

The eight Tuesday was devoted to discuss the topic of “money”
“Money is not a substitute of tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I am sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you are looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”

The ninth Tuesday was to define the eternity of love. “I believe in being fully present. That means you should be with the person you are with”.

Marriage was the topic of discussion on the tenth Tuesday.

“Things are not simple but still there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage. If you don’t respect the other person, you are gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you are gonna have a lot of trouble. If you cannot talk openly about what goes on between you, you are gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you are gonna have a lot of trouble. Your value must be alike.”

They talked about “culture” on the eleventh Tuesday.

“Here is what I mean by building your own little subculture. I don’t mean you disregard every rule of your community. The little things I can obey. But the big things – how we think, what we value – those you must choose yourself. You cannot let anyone – or any society – determine those for you.”

The twelfth Tuesday was meant for discussing “forgiveness”. “Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”

On the thirteenth Tuesday, they talked about the perfect day and on the final Tuesday, Mitch bid goodbye to his beloved Professor….

I understand that what is mentioned in this book is great stuff...practical wisdom which comes, partly due to age and partly due to circumstance...The idea of this book is to follow a different philosophy in life...But is it possible to do so for an average person...may be partly…to some extent…

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey sabya,
for the first time I did'nt really have the patience to go through your entire post (lol). I read the book almost a year ago, so I dont retain the contents anymore..but it was quite interesting a sermon. Have an enjoyable weekend. -k.m

rachana said...

The first glance of the post made me feel that I have to take out good time to read this lengthy post!!!However, the length of the post disappeared & the time was unrealised while reading it. If the post is so interesting, I am sure the book must be remarkable.

However,at times I feel, possibly we all are aware of these philosophies of life mentioned in the book but hardly bother to really bring them into our practical life.

Strange is human behaviour... there are things we know, still we dont do & there are things we dont know, still we do them !!!

Anonymous said...

How true!! this makes my next interesting read - S

SABYASACHI said...

km...yeah..nice sermons...practical yet very few people think of them...

Rachana...u said exactly what i was thinking...we all know about all these but we seldom follow...

S...hope u have a great reading...and if u r the same S which i am thinking u r...hope u r having a rocking time with your new career..

Regards
Sabyasachi

Anonymous said...

Sabya,

Thank you so much for mentioning abt this book here... Was planning to read it from quite sometime. Made me pick the book and read it. I almost felt, lived and loved Morrie all through, feeling his pain, enjoying his laughter, relating to his thoughts.. Generally, I relate to the author easily and all thru a book, i look at it from the narrator's perspective... This was the first time i felt like Morrie... Probably even dying with him...

- S, N, whatever ;)

SABYASACHI said...

S,N...

but such books are dangerous books...the hangover effect continues for quite some time...i am still not out of it....