illustration of author Mitch Albom sitting next to Morrie Schwartz, who is lying in a bed

Tuesdays With Morrie

by Mitch Albom
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Explain why you agree/disagree with the aphorism "To learn how to give love, and let it come in.

Expert Answers

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A good starting point would be to see how the quote relates to the wider message of the book. Mitch, the narrator, is seeking Morrie because he feels deeply dissatisfied with his own life and with what popular culture and its idea of success have made of him. He lives in a deeply materialistic culture, obsessed with violence, hatred and sensationalism, that is not apt to teach him how to give love, receive love or relate to other human beings meaningfully. It is a culture that makes people deeply uncomfortable with love, as a sign of weakness.

This is why he is in need of Morrie's 'Tuesday lessons'. Morrie, on the other hand, while extremely vulnerable and powerless, as an old, ill and increasingly disabled man, is facing death with a great deal of courage, among a very loving family; therefore, it is the example of his life, along with the wisdom of what he actually says, that teaches Mitch that while physical existence is frail and can cease at any time, love for those around us is what makes it meaningful; therefore, what we should focus on in life is not the meaningless greed and hatred that our culture encourages, but personal relationships (see Morrie quoting H.W. Auden: "love each other or perish").

With this in mind, you then need to think through how Morries's lessons and the way he teaches Mitch about love relate to your own life: do you find them inspiring? Problematic? Overly idealistic? Do you think they apply to you? Why?

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