The book was entitled Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, And Life’s Greatest Lesson is a memoir written by Mitch Albom and was published in 1997. Mitchell David Albom, born on May 23, 1958, was an American author, journalist, screen writer, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. According to the book itself he was the author also of the international bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven as well as six other books such as For One Day, Have a Little Faith, The Time Keeper, The First Phone Call from Heaven, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, and The Next Person You Meet in Heaven which was a sequel of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Tuesdays with Morrie is a non-fiction type of novel which tackles about overcoming death and how one specific person, Morrie, handle this knowing that it was coming long before that. It is a matter of giving up or living your life to the fullest. The story evolves between the professor, Morrie and his student, Mitch who have lost their contact since the day of graduation when Mitch promised to keep in contact but he didn’t. The novel is intended most specially to those person who sees death as scariest thing though it is, this novel will make them realize that death is just part of our life cycle maybe medicines or doctors can make our life longer but still death is our final race and destination that no one can stop that from happening even the newest invented machine. Just like what Morrie did, anyone who suffered chronic disease, must see this positively, never lose hope and just never have pity on yourself but make the best of their remaining time left on this earth. The book serves as his final thesis with his professor.
As human, we all aware that death will come to us all and whether we like it or not we are all condemned to death. At the end, questions must need to be answered; are we able to fulfil our duty and making our stay here as memorable and fruitful one or we just lose our opportunity to make the best out of it? And what one can be learned through death? Since the author is the one narrating the story it helps the reader to become part of the flow of the story easily because it somehow the author and the reader became one. The story started by reminiscing the day during their college graduation that was year 1979 when Mitch was one of those students in Brandeis University and found Morrie Schwartz as his favourite professor that was the last time he saw his professor and didn’t have any contact as he promised for almost 16 years. Prior to that, Morrie’s death sentence came in the summer of 1944, the day he began to end everything specially teaching and dancing due to his disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease, a brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system which until now has no known cure. Years had passed, in the year 1995 when Mitch finally heard news about his old professor on ABS-TV’s Nightline hosted by Ted Koppel, from this he thought the reason why he didn’t fulfil his promise to him. After his uncle died, his perception about life has changed but due to one incident in his current job wherein he got suspended, it served a way for them to reconnect and to talk about what happened in the past 16 years, this was their special classes started every Tuesday and the day they called their selves as Tuesday People. The story happened around in Morrie’s house located at West Newton, Massachusetts, it is a friendly house where they enjoy their chats in different part of it and since Morrie was sick and wasn’t able to walk the setting literally evolved inside the house. For the last fourteen Tuesdays they have never talked about something except life, and in November 4, 1995 in a one Saturday morning, Morrie bid and say his last goodbye. The time and settings in the story were presented properly, the author appropriately described to the reader what mood and seasons are present in a specific time and setting which help the reader like me to visualize the actual scenario in each chapter of the novel.
Morrie Schwartz was small man who takes small step, he has blue-green eyes, thinning silver hair that spills into his forehead, big ears, and triangular nose and graying eyebrows. He was a former Social Psychology professor in Brandeis University and became popular because of the way he handle his impending death. He had a wife named Connie and blessed them with two successful sons, Rob and John. Mitch Albom who happened to be the author and novel’s narrator. Instead of becoming a musician he chose to become a sport journalist and eventually took a job in Detroit as a columnist for the Detroit Free Press in New York where he also met his wife, Janine. Janine was an understanding partner and never leave Mitch alone even though he buried himself in accomplishments which he believed that it can give him happiness before he got sick and died which he figured out was his natural fate. But this perspective has changed once he met his coach and taught him a lot of lessons regarding about life. Through the help of each sessions with his professor, Mitch realized how important the family is and he was able to make a connection with his sick brother, Peter, who chose to fight his disease on his own.
Tuesdays with Morrie has a biographical, philosophical and memoir genre. The book serves as a diary which reminds Mitch’s personal experience with his professor. Aside from making a book consists of their shared memories, the tape recorder which help Mitch to record all their conversations and it is a way for him to access Morrie sort of directly after he’s gone and avoid losing his coach completely. Also one of the evidences that can prove that the novel is a true to life story is the episode in the Nightline which can be found in the internet. The main reason why Mitch came up with the book is to raise even a small amount to pay his sick professor’s medical bill and never thought that it would be such as success as it is today. A far from that, he wants to share to the world how Morrie changed his life and how come he said that giving is living. In an article from ABS-CBN NEWS page, he narrated there that even though Morrie was in the state of dying he still managed to help other people by giving them advice and reminding them how precious their lives are, through that it was giving Morrie the feeling that he was still alive. Applying the things he have learned from his professor, Mitch visited in the Philippines in the year 2014 to help build libraries in typhoon-hit Tacloban.
Each part of the book was interesting and worth-reading, this book has touched my heart by making me appreciate the beauty of life and making me realize that money, fame and popularity aren’t what life is truly about but family, friends and loved ones are things that truly matter. There’s a part of the novel that caught my attention and it was the Fourth Tuesday wherein they talked about death. As what Morrie said “Everyone knows that they’re going to die but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.” And also one of my favourite quotes from it is “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” For us to be prepared always ask ourselves if today is that day and with that be the person that we want to be and do the things that need to do. Always look it in a positive way. With all the lessons and the way how the author wrote the novel, it would be an honour to recommend this book to others. The words are not so deep and easy to understand, and it possesses the art of good flow and the way how the story is composed, it really follows the timeline when and where the story happened. As what I feel, others will surely enjoy this novel and can also learn about the meaning and essence of life and what Albom experienced it might help readers to find a part of themselves that could have been lost and through this book, it was able to learn the importance of giving and making an impact on another persons’ life. So this novel of Mitch Albom is truly worth sharing to others.
- Retrieved February 8, 2019. Mitch Albom from https://www.google.com/search?q=apa+format+source+internet&rlz=1CDGOYI_enPH799PH799&oq=apa+format+source+internet&aqs=chrome..69i57.20979j0j9&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8
- Albom, M. (1997) Tuesdays with Morrie page 3.
- Why Mitch Albom wrote ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ (2014). Retrieved on February 8, 2019 from https://news.abs-cbn.com/lifestyle/02/26/14/why-mitch-albom-wrote-tuedays-morrie.