In Tuesdays With Morrie, identify and discuss three lessons about living that Morrie addresses in the novel.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Tuesdays with Morrie by sports columnist Mitch Albom is a poignant memoir of Albom's reunion with his former sociology professor after sixteen years; when he was in college, Mitch would have conversations with this professor at various places on campus. Now, after watching Morrie on a nighttime news program Mitch learns that his favorite teacher is dying of ALS and does not have long to live. So, remembering what he was told long ago--

"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.”

Mitch decides to phone his professor and visit because his newspaper is embroiled in a strike and he can come once a week. So, for fourteen Tuesdays they meet, and Mitch's mentor again teaches him important lessons about life. Here are 3 of these lessons:

  • “Everyone knows he/she is going to die, but nobody believes it.”

Morrie tells Mitch that he is at an advantage, in a sense, because he is aware that he is dying. He adds that if people were cognizant always that they will die, they would become more involved with living instead of going through activities automatically. Morrie says, "Once you learn you're going to die, you learn how to live" because a person will then try to make every minute count once becoming aware that death waits around the corner.

  • The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family"

One's family is the strongest support group, Morrie tells Mitch. Because his mother died when he was a boy, Morrie says he was insecure because family, more than other people, provide love and protection consistently and gratuitously. Morrie says that going through the progression of his disease without the support of loved ones would be very difficult, indeed. 

  • "It's so important to find a loving relationship with someone because so much of the culture does not give you that"

There is an intrinsic need to love, and love must be shared, for meaning depends upon sharing. Marriage requires respect, compromise, and a common set of values. Morrie loves to quote Auden: "Love each other or perish."

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