I have read Mitch Albom’s book “Tuesdays with Morrie” in both the original English and Japanese translation. Here are my impressions.
Mitch Albom is an American (from Philadelphia) journalist. This book is non-fiction based on his experiences.
Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor at Brandeis University, is the main character of the book. Morrie was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), an incurable disease, when he was over 70 years old and was told that he did not have long to live. The book chronicles the regular Tuesday visits between Morrie on his sickbed and Mitch, his former student.
Fourteen visits until Morrie’s death. In them, Morrie shared his thoughts on topics such as death, family, emotions, and aging. And these are described along with the author(Mitch)’s impressions.
Thoughts on Reading
First of all, the basic premise of this book intrigued me because the main character, Morrie, was not attached to any one religion. To be precise, Morrie had the flexibility to look at even religions from a neutral perspective.
For example, in the book, there is a scene in which Morrie quotes a Buddhist concept that is familiar to the Japanese: “Don’t be attached to things”. Yes, Morrie who has an attitude of appreciating and accepting whatever is good. I feel this is the reason why this book is so easily accepted by all readers.
What I learned through this book is the courage to look at things from a bird’s eye view.
Bird’s-eye view: To see things from a broad and objective perspective, as if looking down on things from a higher viewpoint.
We probably think we are actively selecting our daily information. We believe we are taking the initiative and getting the information we want to know. Is that really true? This was Morrie’s question and insight. In this regard, Morrie’s point was shocking. He suggested the possibility that “culture is not helpful”.
Culture here refers to habitual thinking. In particular, status, prestige, and money are easy examples to understand. In general, it can be thought of in this way.
- Fame = More is better
- Money = More is better
- Life-span = Longer is better
Morrie questioned that this must be brainwashing. Unless you are released from this, you will never be truly free. In other words, true happiness.
Assumptions that infest the world. In strong terms, brainwashing. I felt that it was indeed an interesting initiative to cast doubt on this. We tend to say, “Common sense says we shouldn’t do that” . But what is common sense?
We share the same information and views as everyone else on the media, while talking about common sense and common practice. We are impatient to be connected on social media. We compare our incomes and get depressed. We envy our friends who got fame. Spending a lot of money on school fees. I feel that there is a great possibility that this is a fixed concept in our culture that is connected to common sense.
On the other hand, when one wonders why so many people come to see Morrie in his sickbed, it dispels that assumption. Morrie, who is unable to move almost all of his body to begin with, might be classified as an unhappy person by “common sense”. However, he has happiness on his side and is able to give that happiness and the courage to live to others. Using only his words, which are his only output.
The author, Mitch, was one of those fascinated by Morrie. He went to see Morrie every Tuesday, even though he had to spend a lot of money on airfare, sacrificed his time when he could be earning a lot of money, and even though he needed to take care of Morrie’s toilet. It was a blessing for Mitch to be willing to go that far to see. When he saw Morrie, his words healed him and confronted him with the problems in his life. On behalf of Mitch, I can say that this book is a great way to experience this fascination with Morrie.
An interesting classroom episode is introduced from when Morrie was an active professor. Morrie comes into the classroom for a sociology class, and he goes about 15 minutes of silence without speaking. How do you feel? Can you remain calm? I can imagine various feelings of anxiety, skepticism, frustration, and confusion. But there are some people out there who enjoy the silence. Morrie’s class made me think about silence among us. Morrie’s ideas are really interesting!
Morrie was able to make people happy even in the face of death. I wonder if that is the answer that Morrie was able to come up with because he had seriously faced death? On the other hand, Mitch, who lost his precious Morrie, seems to have come to the conclusion that when a loved one is talking to you, you should listen as if it is the last time. Please enjoy “Tuesdays with Morrie” to see how Mitch came to that conclusion.
In this issue, I have written about my reading review of “Tuesdays with Morrie”. True freedom, true happiness. I found this book to be a very great one that gives us an opportunity to actively think about the meaning of these things through Morrie’s life.