Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mitch Albom, tuesdays with Morrie

Mitch Albom, tuesdays with Morrie. A dear friend gave me this book as a gift. To be honest, I thought I wouldn't like it ("I don't usually go for the uplifting") but I did enjoy reading it. Maybe I didn't connect with the author's tone or his answers, but I did connect to the questions he was asking. These questions matter. How do you live a good life? How do you value other people and love them? What is important and what is distraction? What are the values of our culture and are they right? How do you live a good life within a culture that is dysfunctional? How do you tolerate fear, pain, and loss? How do you confront your own death, and worse, the death of those you love? I enjoy people who ask these questions and honestly try to answer them. It's not a matter of religion or no religion to me - I can deeply empathize with most people if they are thoughtful. The intolerable sin is apathy, a careless approach to life. Don't be unthoughtful or formulaic - have a reason for what you do and who you are. Not asking questions is worse than having the wrong answers or no answers. Morrie's insights reminded me of the Forster epigraph "only connect". So the answers in this book were simple - love each other, listen, touch, learn. Pretty basic humanism, hard to argue with (water's mighty wet stuff, chief!). I didn't love the author - he didn't delve deeply enough, it seemed to me, but I loved the subject of the book. A great teacher is important and should be cherished - don't let your teachers fade from your mind.

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