In sharing his experiences visiting with Morrie Schwartz in the final weeks of his life, Mitch Albom shows the reader the importance of mentoring as an emotional, not just an intellectual, commitment. Although Albom had developed in to a successful professional in his own right, he continued to feel a substantial intellectual debt to his former sociology professor. His affection for Morrie was quite strong when he began visiting with him, but he was unprepared for the extent of the transformation that these fourteen weekly meetings would provoke in both of them.
The interdependency between body and mind and the conflict between the two men increasingly made an impression on Mitch as he spent more time with Morrie. The unmistakable decline of Morrie’s bodily functions was something that they both had to face and set aside. Morrie's very limited ability to speak was an impediment to verbal communication. By acknowledging that fact, Mitch also learned about the many other ways people “speak” meaningfully with each other.
While both men were unprepared for what Morrie was enduring, Mitch had to respect Morrie’s experience and not to try to soothe him with platitudes. The value of honesty in forging lasting human connections is an irreplaceable element of the education that Morrie continued to provide.