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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What did Morrie's stepmother teach him as most important in life?

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Morrie's stepmother teaches him that the most important things in life are tenderness, affection, and learning. She greatly influences his path to becoming a professor.

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Through his stepmother's actions, Morrie was gifted the warmth which his house had lacked following the death of his mother. When Eva arrived, she brightened the "murky" atmosphere of their home. She taught Morrie the importance of human affection, which he carried with him his entire life, by giving him warm kisses each night. Morrie was like a "puppy dog" as he awaited those kisses each evening before falling asleep. Eva's intentional kindness taught Morrie how to care about people.

She also valued education, seeing it as the only way to escape their crushing poverty. She went to school herself in order to improve her English and insisted that Morrie excel in school. It was Eva's passion for education that planted a love of learning in Morrie and led to his eventual career. Morrie studied each night by the lamplight, striving to become the scholar whom Eva believed he could be.

Once, Morrie's father took him to the fur factory where he worked, hoping to gain employment for his son. Morrie hated the place and was relieved when the boss informed him that there was not enough work for a young boy. He was determined never to work in such a place.

When Eva asked him what he planned to do, Morrie found his path to becoming a professor. It was because of her influence that this was possible; learning, teaching, and tenderness became the focal points of Morrie's professional life.

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