Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Albom finds out his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (ALS) and has only a short time left to live, and sixteen years after they last saw each other, Albom resolves to reconnect with his mentor.

Albom was burning the candle at both ends, he worked constantly and conflated busy-ness with purpose, happiness and his own self-worth. When the unions went on strike at his newspaper, he was forced to confront the emptiness of his life. Suddenly with lots of time and no excuses, he decides to visit Morrie on a Tuesday, which become regular visits until the end of his mentor’s life.

Having read Have a Little Faith (reviewed here) before this, it’s clear they share similar themes as Albom considers what it is to have lived life well. We live like our time is infinite, yet when confronted with death, many of us regret how much time we’ve wasted. Knowing that their time is limited and determined not to waste it, Albom writes a list of topics he wants to discuss with Morrie such as aging and death, wealth, consumerism and charity, friendship and marriage.

Albom doesn’t shy away from describing Morrie’s deteriorating health and the descriptions of the progression of Morrie’s disease are humbling, yet even as his body fails him, his spirit does not. Self-pity is not in Morrie’s nature, instead he’s grateful he can spend the last months of his life with the people he loves most and has the chance to say goodbye – a privilege denied to many.

Tuesdays with Morrie is about the profound influence that mentors can have on our life and the lessons they teach us, it’s an incredibly poignant but inspiring little book about living and dying. Have a lovely week. X

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