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Normally I read the Daily Prompts and either struggle to get something out of them, or just dismiss them altogether. But the answer to this morning’s prompt was right in the forefront of my mind. The prompt asks:

Tell us about a favorite character from film, theater, or literature, with whom you’d like to have a heart-to-heart. What would you talk about?

I was surprised that my first thought wasn’t Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird since that’s been my favorite book forever. But the man who came to my mind was Morrie Schwartz. I know Morrie from Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.

Of Mitch Albom Wikipedia says:

mitch-albomMitchell David “Mitch” Albom (born May 23, 1958) is an American best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. (He wrote for the Detroit Free Press.) His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. Having achieved national recognition for sports writing in the earlier part of his career. (He was voted America’s No. 1 sports columnist ten times by the Associated Press Sports Editors). He is perhaps best known for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays and films.

MorrieMorrie Schwartz was, quite simply, Mitch’s sociology professor and mentor at Brandeis University. During his university years, Mitch met with Morrie every Tuesday to discuss everything from soup to nuts. They grew very close. But as happens in real life, Mitch lost touch with Morrie after he graduated. He found him again one night while stumbling across Ted Koppel interviewing him for Nightline. And he learned that Morrie was dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), a terminal neurological disease.

What happened then is recorded in Mitch Albom’s book, Tuesdays With Morrie. He reconnected with his beloved professor and spent the next 14 Tuesdays recreating the bond they’d had at the university.

So now you know the WHO, and that leaves the WHY. I would want to talk to Morrie because I’ve never known someone with a wonder for life the way Morrie had. He was wise beyond imagining. He was positive and loving and inclusive in that loving of all human beings in this world. He didn’t live in the past nor in the future. He was one of those rare people who knew how to live fully in the moment. And I would probably have about a million more questions for him to add to Mitch’s.

But the lesson I would be most eager to learn is how to face aging and all it encompasses the with good nature and grace that Morrie did. The aplomb with which Morrie accepted his limitations and impending death was so inspiring to me. Would that I could demonstrate that same grace to those I know.
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So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The best way to deal with that is to live in a fully conscious, compassionate, loving way. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to recognize that this is the only way to live.

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