Life is a class, from the day we came to the day we leave. In this class, we learn to learn, learn to live, learn to accept relationships, learn to face death, and learn to adapt to this long and fancy journey of life.
Since our childhood, we constantly wonder what our futures will be. Our future life style, future career, the coming deterioration of our body functions and even death, are all in blur that whenever we think of them, we will be occupied by fear. Sometimes, we cannot help but ask: what is the feeling of death? Where will we go after we die? It is always hard for us to be easy with death because we fear it. Therefore, we rush to work hard to get what we desire within the short span of life. However, it is a pathetic fact that we are sometimes blinded and lose what we really need when pursuing what we “desire”. Even worse, we will not realize it until we are about to die. Tuesday with Morrie can help us realize it before hand.
My Encounter with Tuesday with Morrie
I am really grateful for this course and Miss Yang. Thank you for giving me a chance to read Tuesday with Morrie, a book that enlightened me in understanding the meaning of life. I am the same kind of people as Mitch Albom, who is always occupied by work and spare no time in other parts of life. When I was reading this book on every Thursday, I put myself in Mitch’s position.
The Abstract of the Story
Tuesday with Morrie tells a real story about an old professor, Morrie Schwartz, who had been gradually paralyzed by ALS and was about to die. His student, Mitch Albom, accidently saw his professor being interviewed in the television. Shocked by the upcoming death of his dear professor, Mitch went to meet Morrie in order to grasp some time to say goodbye to the professor who inspired him during college. During the last three months, no matter how busy Mitch was, he would went to see Morrie on Tuesdays to attend Morrie’s lessons about the meanings of life. They talked a lot ranging from death, love, marriage to culture etc. Inspired by the lesson, Mitch realized that love dwarfs all the fame and fortune. Luckily, he successfully saved a precious relationship.
Three Kinds of Attitudes towards Life
Life is the same process for everyone which stars from birth, living to death. However, everyone has his own particular understanding of life. In my opinion, most of the attitudes towards life can be divided into three main categories. Those who have monotonous and dull lives conceive life as a process of birth, eating, drinking, sleeping, getting married, growing old and finally going to the heaven, which is apparently meaningless. The second type views life as a trade. Their theme of life is what they can obtain from life.
Their spontaneous reaction to any new experience is bound to be: what it worth to me? In the world built on this kind of attitude, happiness turns out to be a competition. Most people in the modern world are living with this life style where competition and efficiency dwarf everything. The third kind of attitude expresses a theme: what I can bring into life. Their objective is to bring others happiness, which eventually will bring happiness to themselves. I admit that I am in the second category. Tuesday with Morrie taught me how to move into the third.
Cherish What You Own at the Present.
In Tuesday with Morrie, Professor urged us to remember a philosophy: “If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.” Since we cannot reject it, why don’t we just ignore it and cherish what we have right now? We should enjoy every stage of our lives. When we are kids, we should enjoy playing and being an innocent kid. When we are adults, we should enjoy working hard, giving out, embracing love and being an enthusiastic adult. When we are old, we should enjoy the peace of life and being an experienced yet calm old man or woman. As long as we accept who we are right now and learn to enjoy it, every stage is meaningful and wonderful for us. Many of us skip other processes lying in the middle but only see the very end of life and therefore rush every day to try to obtain more, more and more. This is not living.
Realize What We Need
In the modern world, there are innumerable people like Mitch, who was always occupied by his work, by his pursuing of fame and fortune. Though I am still a student, I have already been trapped in this kind of life style, too. Due to the countless homework and researches, I barely have time to have fun with friends or care for my families. I can obtain all I desire but I seldom feel quite happy. I was confused and could not find a way out. Morrie helped me. He said that when you learn how to die, you learn how to live. Death is a wake-up call for all of us. When faced with death, all the fortune and fame, those we desire and fight for in our whole life, become useless. There was an experiment carried out among students. They were given five stuffs, including a box of matches, a Channel perfume, an LV bag, a Benz car and a big house. Everyone was given a few million dollars and they could buy whatever they want. The result shows no one ever chose to buy the matches.
However, when the professor assumed that the students were in a deserted island, all the students bought the matches. It is obviously that, compared with a box of matches, those luxuries are of no use in the deserted island. Matches can start fire to warm, to cook and to make signals. That was what they need. Nowadays, people are hard to be satisfied because they are always pursuing things much more than they actually need. If we can learn lessons from Morrie’s death or the students’ realization in the experiment, we can figure out how much we have already owned and suddenly we can get away from the depression of the constant struggle for more and start to enjoy living itself.
It is a pity that the modern world encourages the second type of life style I mentioned above. A set pattern designed by the society forces us to struggle for colleges, exams, promotions, money, marriages, houses and cars etc. It seems every one takes it for granted and has been accustomed to it. We lost our judgment. Morrie, as a man dying soon, told us that wealth could not buy happiness and contentment. Life should not have been that hard.
My Changes after Reading the Book
When Morrie asked Mitch to drop by every Tuesday, Mitch hesitated and said he might not be able to because he was so busy. However, he made it. After reading Morrie’s fourteen lessons on the meaning of life, I decided to learn from both Morrie and Mitch. I have to abandon my forever excuse: I am so occupied and I have no time. I started calling my parents and my sister regularly and occasionally went out with friends, as well as doing some charity works. Amazingly, it suddenly occurred to me that I am a human, a living human. Though it is hard to suddenly change from type two person to type three, who can live as wisely as Morrie, I am working on it and I am making progress.