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Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie
 About fifteen years ago, I read the book Tuesdays with Morrie. 

Fifteen years ago I was a different person. In my early thirties, raising two young sons, and getting a grasp on the writing career I still wanted despite my schedule being more about my boys, I thought this book was interesting.

Just that. Interesting.

It sounds banal and annoying to say I thought it was interesting. But, it was. Because while it struck a chord within me (a soft one) that the story was sentimental, heart-warming, and heartbreaking, there is something to be said for life experience that changes a person. I guess I was banal and annoying back then. The book didn't mean much.

But life experiences change a person.

I suppose we are all naive in our early years. Which really means we're all insensitive. I take umbrage at that description for myself but after reading the book again, that's the only way to put it. 

Now that I've gone through fifteen more years of more pain and joy, heartbreak and happiness, this story was more than interesting. This book was almost, dare I say it, the meaning of life.

It sounds sacrilegious to say because, for me, the Bible is my main "meaning of life" book. But, what the author did with his story - about the relationship he had with his professor going through university and then reconnecting later on with him when they were older - was reveal the secret wisdom his professor had figured out. What was that wisdom? 

He figured out how to live an authentically real and happy life.

Life isn't about stuff, it's about people. It isn't about working harder, working faster, owning more, and upgrading everything we own (or presume to own.)

Life, according to him, with every good and bad thing he'd been through, is about three things (and I'm seriously paraphrasing here): loving others, helping others, and doing something that gives meaning to the world. i.e. making a difference.

As a sociology professor, with a Jewish background who took from many religions to understand his position in life (Christianity, Buddism, and Judaism), he took on his challenge - to love, to help, and to make a difference - and tried to uphold this noble way of living with each person he came in contact with.

Was this man perfect? No. Aren't there other people who do amazing things and are never written about? Yes. This professor just happened to have a student who became a writer. The book was born out of a way to love, to help others, and to make a difference. The author, Mitch Albom, with his book, became the living words of his professor.

That's pretty fantastic.

This book is old, it's been reviewed a gazillion times. There are other good books out there like this. I'm sure of it. But, seeing that I reread it and that initial chord that struck me the first time (soft) turned into one that hammered me in my heart (loud), I have to recommend it. 

It's about life, living, death, disease, paying attention to the important things, and ignoring the time-wasting events of our day. It's about being authentic and moving toward being happy with what we already have.

I suppose the book has elements of minimalism. Maybe that's why I love it more than I used to. I'm also getting older. I also know I could die today, just because I'm older - this isn't something I was pondering fifteen years ago. 

This professor and his words live on in this book decades after it was written. And I can't stop thinking about it. Find it on Amazon or get it on Libby (library reading app) for free. It's not long, about 200 pages, reads quickly, and leaves you with a new way of looking at life if you really let the story speak to you. This is the key: let it sink in and speak.

Five stars. 

-HJS

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