As an avid reader, I’d love to believe that everyone enjoys reading as much as I do and that they devote both time and energy to reading. However, much to my dismay and after years of being teased for preferring a good book to the playing field, I learned that a book has to be extremely special to get most people to even consider picking it up. I’ll also admit before we go any further with this review and any subsequent reviews, that I might have tricked quite a few guys I went to school with to read a certain book by telling them it was actually about baseball. Regardless of these facts, I remain confident in my belief that should be taught in schools and that everyone should read. These are also the books that I am constantly on the search to own a copy of, and ironically, the book I’m going to talk about was recommended to me by one of the guys I tricked into reading that one novel.
He recommended it to me because the author Mitch Albom is a sports writer and he thought that I was spending way too much time in Victorian England. This was mainly because I wanted to escape what was going on in my life at the time – my mother was undergoing treatment for cervical cancer. He felt that it would help me to better deal with everything than retreating to a time past. He was partially right, it did help me to deal with things and also got me to start writing in my journal again.
Tuesdays with Morrie is one such book that I have been wanting to own a personal copy of since I first read it; though to be honest, you cannot go wrong with any of Mitch Albom’s books. This particular one, however, sets itself apart by being based on the conversations, the teachings if you’d prefer, that Mitch Albom learns from Morrie Schwarz, one of his former college professors and his mentor. Mitch loses touch with Morrie, for several reasons…embarrassment, life being the two main ones. This is despite promising Morrie that he would keep in touch; luckily, he is given a second chance to spend time with his mentor once again, to ask him the questions that still plagued him after all these years, to receive the foresight of another person that would help him deal with his life as it was and as it was to come. Sadly, he was able to do this because *spoiler alert* Morrie was dying from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and he made an effort to get back in touch.
Mitch and Morrie met for approximately three months during which time they discussed everything from love and death. They would always meet on a Tuesday, and so that’s how I am going to approach each one I discuss. I am just going to pick a few of the lessons and tell how they have affected me and my life. If you’ve read this book, I would love to know which lessons stayed with you and if you haven’t go to your local library to check it out today.
- The second Tuesday they spoke about feeling sorry for yourself, which like many of you, I seem to spend way too much time doing. Morrie tells Mitch that he only feels sorry for himself in the morning, and then he realizes all of the things that he has to be grateful for such as visits with old friends, the stories that will be told. He only allows himself a couple minutes each morning to feel sorry for himself, and then he moves on. The lesson I received from this is to keep track of all the things that you have to be grateful for – a warm bed to sleep in at night, food to eat, shoes to wear, clean running water, etc. and so much more that we take for granted. Instead, we choose to concentrate on what we don’t have – the newest iPhone, likes and followers on social media, or even the perfect relationship.
- The sixth Tuesday they spoke about emotions – the importance of detaching yourself from a situation while you are experiencing it. This isn’t to say that you aren’t affected by what is going on because you are. It’s that you’ve realized that if you freak out in a situation, it will only make the situation worse. Personally, I am still working on this – when my Mom fell back at the beginning of July, I honestly freaked out. I wanted her to get up, so we could go do whatever we had planned for that day – but she couldn’t as she had a broken femur. If she had been able to get up, it would’ve made her injury worse – so sometimes taking the time to detach from a situation and think about it, is the best emotion to deal with something. The main reason for this is that it allows you to fully experience whatever is happening at a later time when you sit down to remember it. This will allow you to be more receptive of whatever emotions come up – regardless of whether they are good or bad, which emotions can’t be good or bad – they just are. Can you think of a time when something happened in your life and how your emotions have changed towards it? Feeling the emotions at the time makes you afraid of feeling it – you don’t want to feel love, you don’t want to feel pain. It’s mainly recognizing the effects of those emotions and accepting them, dealing with these effects, and moving on to the next moments in life.
- The twelfth Tuesday they spoke about forgiveness, the ability to have it towards not only yourself, but others as well. Morrie tells Mitch that there is no point in keeping a hold of vengeance, stubbornness, or any of the other emotions that make us angry at another person. In the end, does the thing that made you angry truly matter? As for forgiving ourselves, how many times a day do we sit and wonder ‘What if?’ – we are angry at ourselves for all of the things that we did, the things that we said, the things that we felt…why? Because society tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that someone will always be prettier than us, smarter than us, have more of this than us. This means that we spend our time constantly trying to catch up with people who have no effect on our lives.
I’m going to end by saying that I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. While it’s not your typical review, I hope that it still encourages you to go and check it out and even the lessons contained within its pages, even the ones that I didn’t mention here. Have a wonderful day!