Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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Chapter 17 Summary

“The Seventh Tuesday: We Talk About the Fear of Aging” opens with another loss for Morrie. His great dread—relying on others to wipe his behind—has finally come to pass. Morrie cannot reach around behind his body anymore and he must rely on his nurses to clean him. However, as Morrie predicted in “The First Tuesday: We Talk About the World,” he is able to accept this latest inability by viewing it as a return to childhood. Morrie has discussed his need to give to people, but now he is focused on receiving. What he receives is the physical touch and intimacy that children receive from their mothers. Morrie argues that people do not get enough love as children, and he in particular did not because he lost his mother at a young age. Albom concludes that Morrie’s determination to remain positive and focused on the joys of life is brave.

Their conversation turns to aging. Albom outlines the way youth is portrayed in advertising. After all, no model on a billboard can pass for more than thirty-five. For Albom, it has come to the point that he is ashamed to admit how hold he is, and he is driven to work out and constantly watch his weight. It seems that there is no place in society for the middle aged, not to mention the elderly. Morrie’s response is that the obsession with youth is an illusion. He points out that there are many difficulties with being young, particularly the sense that one is constantly being used and manipulated due to a lack of experience and self-knowledge. Furthermore, Morrie points out that no matter how much people try not to age, they cannot stop time from passing. Therefore, the obsession with fighting one’s age is misguided and causes people to lose focus on living their lives to...

(The entire section is 481 words.)