“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it should not. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.”
Mitch Albom’s “ Tuesday with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson” gives us an opportunity to learn from Morrie Schwarz. Morrie was a college professor who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a terminal disease of the neurological system.
After a number of rigorous medical tests, Morrie was told that his days were numbered. But Morrie was not like all of us. He took death as his final project.
Mitch Albom, who once taught by Morrie in college, joined with Morrie to finish their final course on how to live life. The book is full of wisdom and life lessons. I'll be sharing some of the lessons from the book in two parts. Here goes the first episode:
Dying is only one thing to be sad over Mitch. Living unhappily is something else. So many of the people who come to visit me are unhappy.
Well the culture we’ve does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture does not work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it. they’re more unhappy than me-even in my current condition.
So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they are busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are 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.
The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in. 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’.
On feeling sorry for oneself:
Sometimes, in the mornings, that’s when I mourn. I feel around my body, I move my fingers and my hands-whatever I can still move-and I mourn what I’ve lost. I mourn the slow, insidious way in which I’m dying. But then I stop mourning.
I give myself a good cry if I need it. but then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. On the people who are coming to see me. On the stories I’m going t hear.
Mitch, I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than that. A little each morning, a few tears, and that’s all. I thought about all the people I knew who spent many of their waking hours feeling sorry for themselves. How useful it would be to put a daily limit on self-pity.
It’s only horrible if you see it that way. It’s horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it’s also wonderful because of all the time I get to say good-bye.
The culture does not encourage you to think about such things until you are about to die. We’re so wrapped up with egoistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks-we’re 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?
You need someone to probe you in that direction. It won’t just happen automatically.