This May 2nd, I chose to review a book that I respect and have read twice. It reminds me of my parents, teachers, lecturers and students from whom I have learnt to live and be a good human being. It made me come an inch closer to understanding the meaning of life and that material wealth brings nothing more than a stressful life.
On this special day, I dedicate this book to all my teachers –with the message Happy Teachers Day and to remember the Father of Modern Bhutan, the Great Third, who embarked Bhutan to the outside world with modern educational reforms.
Tuesday with Morrie, a book read and loved worldwide is one of my favorites. It is about a wonderful professor’s reflection of life on –death, aging, marriage, family, love, society and forgiveness as he walks towards his inevitable death journey. It is written by his ex-student, Mitch Albom. Morrie Schwartz taught him social psychology when he was a student at Brandeis University.
Morrie becomes Mitch’s immediate mentor, that one person in life you have endless admiration and turn for knowledge and advice to. Mitch promises he will stay in touch but doesn’t.
Fifteen years later, Morrie falls sick with an incurable illness, ALS. Mitch has settled in Detroit and become a successful sports journalist. Although he had gathered countless money and material wealth, he doesn’t seem happy and satisfied with his life.
In 1995, Morrie is interviewed by Ted Koppel on ABC’s nightline and Mitch sees him on the show. He decides to contact him and travels to Morrie’s place. Having not seen each other for the last 16 years, Mitch freezes. He has no words when Morrie hugs him and said, my old friend, “You have come back at last.”
Morrie tells him that he is dying soon. So Mitch starts visiting him every Tuesday. They decide to hold their talks like a class. Their subject is, “the meaning of life.”
On their first Tuesday, they talk about the world. Mitch notices a pile of newspapers in Morrie’s room. Mitch asks his professor, “do you bother keeping up with news?” To this, Morrie says, “Do you think that’s strange?” Do you think that since I am dying, I shouldn’t care what happens in this world?”
I was much touched by the chapter “family” and “the fear of aging.” Morrie points out how material possessions –money, power, strength, fame and title can’t replace your loved ones. According to Morrie, people who protect you is more important than anything else after all you will be taken care by your family and the loved ones and not by the money or the power you hold in the office.
Morrie dies after their last class.
I was utterly touched by how Mitch puts it. “A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Someday, I hope to meet a Morrie of my own.
Happy Teachers’ Day
Contributed by Sancha Bdr Rai (blogger)
Teacher, Zhemgang CS