Mitch Albom becomes reacquainted with his former college sociology professor after seeing him interviewed on Nightline with Ted Koppel. Morrie has agreed to allow Nightline to document his decline as he succumbs to the ravages of ALS. Albom jumps on a plane and reinitiates the relationship he had with Morrie sixteen years before. In a series of Tuesday conversations Morrie agrees to give Mitch his final lessons. This time though the subject is life and what it means to die.
What becomes apparent during these conversations is that ALS might break Morrie’s body but it can’t defeat his spirit which soars through this slim volume. The beauty of Morrie is that he peels life as if it were an onion unveiling its most essential elements…love, forgiveness, marriage, the world, community, and the ability to embrace the very best of life even as it slowly leaves you. In dying Morrie shows us what life is really about.
When Mitch asks him what he would do if his health could be restored for 24 hours Morrie explains that he would surround himself with his friends and family and indulge in conversation, he would inhale the beauty of his favourite pond, and his beautiful trees, he might dance and then he would go to his favourite restaurant. Mitch is shocked at how ordinary his last wish would be. But then that’s the beauty of Morrie. While the rest of us get lost in ambition and chasing the smoke dreams of a compulsive, empty consumer society, he chases love. It’s all about love. By giving yourself to love you give yourself to life. And that’s why even as he lay dying Morrie Schwartz was consumed with life.
What a great book.