Monday, February 09, 2009

tuesdays with morrie

I recently went out to dinner with a friend who strongly suggested the book "Tuesdays with Morrie." I had seen this book on a book shelf in our home for years, and it always intrigued me, but for some reason I never read it.

After such a high recommendation, I came home and frantically searched our entire house for this book, running upstairs and downstairs until I found it hidden away in one of our book cases. I took it to Florida with me. It is a very easy read yet it is so deeply profound.

The book is about a man, a college professor, and their relationship throughout the years. It is structured around the fact that on every Tuesday, this man (Mitch) goes and visits his dying college professor whom he connects with after being unlinked for years. During this time, Morrie (the professor) teaches Mitch wonderful life lessons, and opens up his world of understanding. A lot of the principles taught in this book can be applied to our lives spiritually, although the author was not a Christian nor was the professor in the book doing the teaching.

Some of my favorite lines from Morrie:

"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."

"Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent."

"You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship."

"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."

"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."

"The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it."


We are bombarded daily. As far as I am concerned, if you are a citizen living in a home in the United States, it's a little hard not to be influenced by our society in some way or another. Everywhere you look tells you who you should be, what you should do, how you should act, what you should buy, and what you should look like. And somehow, when that's all done, it's supposed to make you happy.

The truth is that no matter how many of society's little games that we play, we will never find anything remotely satisfying about them. We may evoke a temporary happiness or excitement, and it can give us pleasure for a moment and even smiles for a season. But after the new cable is installed and there's still nothing to watch, the cell phone gets scratched up, the diet is over, the new outfit has been worn more than twice, and the self-help book is read, we find ourselves spinning around and circles and absolutely empty. It's all useless. And what does it even matter, anyway? In the end, all of it burns with the rest. We don't take possessions or even our earthly bodies with us to anyplace eternal. Why do we place such huge importance on ourselves?

I have been on a missions trip several times and have always found one recurring theme by the end of the week: contentment and joy by way of living for awhile with little. Take away the fancy house, the car, the cell phone, the computer, and all my toys, and what do you get? PEOPLE. Living, breathing people who need to be loved. Our mission in life is not to accumulate things but to touch lives. To me, "things" are just an obstacle in the way of getting there.

So many times I flip on the TV only just to turn it off. It really sickens me what they televise these days. You can't look anywhere without seeing or hearing evil. It's all about entertainment. I don't get it. To me, it's just a big waste of time. Don't get me wrong, I've watched my fair share of TV and there are definitely shows that I think that I need to see every once in awhile, but all in all, I get discouraged when I keep the TV on for too long. Anymore, the only shows that interest me are the news, "learning" opportunities, or movies that I know hold some sort of a grounds to an inspirational story or history.

Any other form of media can be the same way. Take radio. Or the web. It can suck the life right out of you and take away ALL of your time if you let it. It's one of those mindless activities that can go on for hours and hours, and pretty soon, what have you even accomplished?

It is all a part of how our society works. And I hate to paint all forms of media as terrible and evil, because I believe when used in the correct light, they are excellent tools. TV can educate us if we watch the right programs, and it keeps us up to date with the current happenings. Radio can be great if we're tuned into an encouraging station. The web is an awesome resource of information and a wonderful way to communicate. It's just like anything else in life: you must use it, not abuse it, and everything in moderation.

That is all for this evening... I really enjoyed the various profound quotes and "life lessons" from Morrie that I read about in this book. Anytime we can learn from the older and the wiser, we do a good thing.

Love you all!



Tami said...

it's weird that you should write about 'tuesdays with morrie' cause I've read the book a couple times myself and just watched the movie yesterday. I agree, it's very profound in many breaks my heart that Morris wasn't a Christian. Thanks for your post...great thoughts.

Tami said...

morrie...not morris.:)

Marla H. said...

I LOVE this book, too. I am glad you enjoyed it!!!