Recently, I’ve been so obsessed with death that I wrote an article on death contemplation. I really want to know what people think about on their death beds. I want to learn their thoughts about life because I believe dying enlightens individuals, enabling them to see life as it really is. Surprisingly, I read an article about life being rigged in our favor, and the author recommended the non-fiction book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
In the book, Mitch Albom writes about his visits to his former sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, who struggles with a degenerative disease. Eating has become challenging to him and he believes his death is around the corner.
The last days of Morrie Schwartz become a blessing to Mitch Albom – who is unsatisfied despite attaining material success – because Morrie shows him how to live. After Morrie’s death, Mitch Albom wishes he could have spent more time with Morrie. Nevertheless, he’s thankful for Morrie’s lessons.
I loved the book because Mitch Albom shares with us amazing pearls of wisdom he received from Morrie. I noted down these pearls of wisdom while reading the book, and I am so happy to share them with you.
- ‘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 shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.’
- ‘Love wins, love always wins.’
- ‘The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in.’
- ‘We’re so wrapped with egotistical 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 to just 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?’
- ‘Everyone knows they’re going to die,’ but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.’
- ‘Most of us walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do.’
- ‘When you realize you are going to die, you see everything much differently.’
- ‘I don’t know what spiritual development really means. But I do know we’re deficient in some way. We are too involved in materialistic things, and they don’t satisfy us. The loving relationship we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted.’
- ‘The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t family. It’s become quite clear to me as I’ve been sick. If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, ‘Love each other or perish.’
- ‘It’s so true, without love we are birds with broken wings.’
- ‘Love is the only rational act.’
- ‘There is no experience like having children. That’s all. There is no substitute for it. You cannot do it with a friend. You cannot do it with a lover. If you want the experience of having complete responsibility for another human being, and to learn how to love and bond in the deepest way, you should have children.’
- ‘Take any emotion-love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, the grief, and the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain, love, and grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right, I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.’
- ‘Aging is not just decay. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.’
- ‘You know what really gives you satisfaction? ‘Offering others what you have to give.’
- ‘Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to the community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.’
- ‘If you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.’
- ‘Giving to other people is what makes me feel alive. Not my car or my house. Not what I look like in the mirror. When I give my time, when I can make someone smile after they were feeling sad, it’s close to healthy as I ever feel. Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you will be overwhelmed with what comes back.’
- ‘Friends are great, but friends are not going to be here on a night when you’re coughing and can’t sleep and someone has to sit up all night with you, comfort you, and try to be helpful.’
- ‘I’ve learned this much about marriage. You get tested. You find out who you are, who the other person is, and how you accommodate or don’t.’
- ‘There are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage. If you don’t respect the other person, if you don’t know how to compromise, if you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, and if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.’
- ‘The big things – how we think, what we value – those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone or any society determine those for you.’
- ‘Forgive yourself, forgive others.’
- Death ends a life, not a relationship.’
- ‘The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things.’
I believe you enjoyed the above quotes by Mitch Albom. You must read the book to learn more amazing pearls of wisdom. Mitch Albom’s book has been a blessing to me because it taught me what I really desired to learn. Hope you’ll also love it.
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