“The Last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house. It met on Tuesdays, began after breakfast. The subject was The Meaning of Life.” Out of the million books that teach you how to live life (I never really get them) this one is the most different because it was taught from experience. Morrie Schwartz was a doctor of sociology, he enjoyed dancing in his own free style and in the summer 1994, he was given a death sentence that of the fatal disease called the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The worst part of the disease was not only does it kill you; it makes death a slow and painful process. But to Morrie, the disease was a blessing (his positivity wouldn’t allow him to interpret it any other way) He thought this way he gets to say goodbye to all his loved ones.
Mitch Albom represents all of us, the ones who get lost in a rat race, forget our teachers, even the most important ones. Morrie was Mitch’s favorite professor and yet sixteen years after college, he didn’t even know his beloved professor was dying until Morrie appeared as his tired self in the popular talk show NightLine. The rest of the book talks about what Life can teach us, what the disease taught Morrie and, most importantly, that Death is inevitable.
14 Tuesdays, each with their own lesson, the book is different from other self help books because it brutally tells that you have to change for your life to change. “Death is one big equalizer” Morrie says. Sitting in his Wheel chair, he talks about how he doesn’t feel life has been unfair. He says he keeps a daily limit on self pity. If he feels miserable in the mornings, he cries a little about it and that’s that. He in fact takes pride in talking about the many people who love him enough to bathe him and more importantly wipe his ass (he says that’s the one point in life where you know you have lost your independence) He describes to Albom the importance to forge his own culture, “Don’t buy it. Make your own culture”
There are many lessons I’d take up with this book, the most important one being, that to know and admit that you are going to die is the most important thing. It makes life a more significant experience and you start questioning every single second of your life, Do I really want to waste my time doing this when I know I am going to die? You eventually end with the best experiences because you FEEL them. “Sometimes you don’t see to believe, you have to feel it to believe it.”
The lessons are precious and invaluable and the book is NOT a tear jerker story about a guy on his death bed. At the end of it all, you fall in love with that brave old professor who talks about the most brutal things in life with a smile. “When you are in bed, you are dead” I loved the read. Perhaps the next best Non-fiction after “The Last Lecture”