Mitch had developed a close friendship with his teacher Morrie during his time as a student at Brandeis University. After his graduation he promised his teacher that he would keep in touch. He however was unable to keep his promise and they drifted apart. Mitch happened to see his teacher being interviewed on television sixteen years later. During the show, he learned that Morrie had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
After graduation Mitch pursued his dreams as a pianist but this did not work out, even after he put a lot of time and energy in it. After the failure in music, Mitch went back to class and obtained a master’s degree in journalism. He was later hired as a sports journalist and although this was not his dream, he worked with passion. Mitch was able to achieve material success but due to his schedule, he lost sight of the need for a social life. However, after seeing his former professor on television, he decided to reestablish his connection with him.
The two old friends finally met and the professor offered to hold his “last class” about life and death. It was through these lessons that Mitch was able to achieve true success because Morrie offered insights that would prove invaluable to Mitch’s life. The professor explained the need for one to find happiness in the activities they engaged in and the maintenance of their humanity. Morrie taught Mitch that true success did not come only in material wealth but a combination of all other aspects in life including their social and emotional state. These lessons, which were held until the professor’s death, were important to Mitch as they offered him knowledge that he did not get in school. The insights shared would help him make better decisions in the future toward living a more fulfilling life and in spite of his initial failures he would find ‘true’ success.
The professor’s life also supported the quote “out of failure comes success” because in spite of his failing health, he was able to find clarity and understanding about life and death. He additionally shared this knowledge with those close to him.