The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Tuesday’s Treasures: Exploring Life’s Lessons Through ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’

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Graphic: Valeria Reyes

You know that one book that adorns your bookshelf? The one whose pages you revisit to experience the highlighted quotes and dog-eared pages once more. I, quite honestly, have never been so awestruck in my young, adolescent life than after reading “Tuesdays with Morrie.” As soon as I turned the first page, I was hooked. Mitch Albom’s piece proves to be a poignant and soul-stirring exploration of life, death and the profound wisdom that can only be gained through the bonds of friendship and the inevitability of mortality. This memoir captures the essence of what it means to truly live and cherish every moment, and it leaves an indelible mark on the heart of its readers.

The story begins when Mitch Albom, a successful sports journalist, stumbles upon a television interview that features his former college sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. Morrie, diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is nearing the end of his life. Seeing his old mentor on television reignites a dormant friendship, as Mitch decides to reconnect with Morrie, visiting him every Tuesday. These weekly meetings become a heartfelt and enlightening journey that forms the basis of this exceptional book.

Albom’s narrative skillfully weaves together the present-day conversations between Mitch and Morrie with poignant flashbacks to his college days, where Morrie’s influence had initially taken root. As the book unfolds, we witness the gradual transformation of Mitch, who, despite his career-driven life, learns profound life lessons from his dying mentor. Through Morrie’s wisdom and vulnerability, readers are introduced to a plethora of life-affirming topics, such as love, family, aging, work and death. Morrie’s aphorisms and reflections on life are both enlightening and thought-provoking. His “Tuesdays with Morrie” class sessions cover a wide range of subjects, from the fleeting nature of materialistic pursuits to the importance of embracing our emotions and being fully present in each moment. Morrie’s approach to living a fulfilling life revolves around the simplicity of love and the significance of the human connection.

Cynically, my favorite topic addressed by Morrie is death. As soon as Morrie learns he is sick, until the end, he doesn’t hold back. He keeps moving forward. What struck me the most about him is that he wasn’t afraid. Morrie says to Mitch, “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” One of the most remarkable aspects of this book is its raw and emotional honesty. Albom presents Morrie’s deteriorating health and impending death with unflinching candor. Through his eyes, we witness the physical and emotional challenges of facing mortality head-on, and the profound beauty that can be found in that vulnerability. Morrie’s unwavering optimism and acceptance of his fate are nothing short of inspirational.

I recorded many of the phrases that I wanted to return to after reading. One of them reads, “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Many people are physically awake, yet living unconsciously. They are not fully aware of who they are and their real purpose in life. This is a bit poetic and extreme of me to be elaborating so much on this — I mean, I am only 20 years old. Most adults tell me that it’s OK to not have everything figured out right now. However, I want more than anything to live consciously. More specifically, though (again in the words of Morrie Schwartz), I want to “accept who I am; and revel in it.”

Albom’s writing style is accessible and engaging, making it easy for readers to connect with the story and its characters. The prose flows smoothly, and the book is a quick yet deeply impactful read. It’s a testament to Albom’s storytelling prowess that he manages to convey such profound life lessons with simplicity and grace. “Tuesdays with Morrie” is a book that will touch your heart and stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. It serves as a powerful reminder that life’s most important lessons are often learned in the company of those we love, and that the true richness of life lies not in material wealth but in the relationships we cultivate and the moments we cherish.

Rating: 5/5

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About the Contributor
Chapin Rockwell, Commentary Editor (Fall)
Chapin Rockwell is a junior from Alexandria, VA concentrating in English with minors in sociology and writing & rhetoric. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary section. On campus, Chapin is a peer consultant at the Writing and Speaking Center.

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