Do you remember watching a movie and having the unstoppable feeling you need to pause and grab a tissue, because you’re sure to start crying soon? I remember wanting to cry when Mufasa died in the Lion King (I was eight), or when Johnny Five got beaten to metal pulp in Short Circuit II (I was nine).
Nowadays, though, I don’t get that feeling anymore – it has been replaced by something else: chills. The end of Stay sends chills down my spine, as does the moment in LOST were Charlie has a series-defining heroic moment. Reading the last part of Harry Potter also sent chills down my spine – particularly Neville Longbottom and his killing Nagini. But, seriously, emotionally moved to the verge of tears? Not quite.
Until someone put “Tuesdays with Morrie” in my hands. It’s non-fiction, 185 pages long and written by Mitch Albom, a sports journalist. How could this possible be good? The subject: his talks with Morrie Schwarz, an old sociology professor of his, whom he had not seen for sixteen years after his graduation… and when he saw him, he was in the later stages of a terminal disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS). Albom then witnesses the last seminar by Morrie: a seminar between the two of them, without a test, with a deadline. Subject? Lessons of life.
Even if you’re not a true reader, like me, you will easily love this book. It’s sad, it’s depressing, but it’s equally hopeful. It’s hilarious at times, but most of the times it just reaches into your soul and touches you.
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me you need others to survive, right?” His voice dropped to a whisper. “But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.”
I cannot possible describe the range of emotions you’ll go through whilst reading this. I don’t think I should try either. Just this: try this book – it’s a life lesson.