Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Book Notes
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  • Morrie’s questions:
    • Tell me something close to your heart.
    • Tell me something about your faith.
    • Have you found someone to share your heart with?
    • Are you at peace with yourself?
  • Life is a series of pulls back and forth… A tension of opposite, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.
  • The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.
    • [People] gave up days and weeks of their lives, addicted to someone else’s drama.
  • The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.

Love is the only rational act. – Stephen Levine

  • How useful it would be to put a daily limit on self-pity.
  • Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel.
  • We’re so wrapped up with egoistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks – we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. – Henry Adams

  • Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
    • … learn to actually be more involved in your life while you’re living.

Love each other or perish. – W.H. Auden

  • Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it.
  • I don’t want to leave the world in a state of fright. I want to know what’s happening, accept it, get to a peaceful place, and let go.
  • … giving as an adult and taking as a child.
  • Aging is not just decay. It’s growth.
    • You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue.
  • Envy comes to me, I feel it, and then I let it go.
  • Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over… More is good. More is good. We repeat it – and it repeated to us – over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.
  • What really gives you satisfaction is offering others what you have to give.
    • 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 way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
  • What we take, we must replenish.
  • People are only mean when they’re threatened… and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does.
  • I don’t mean you disregard every rule of your community… The little things I can obey. But the big things – how we think, what we value – those you must choose yourself. You can’t let any one – or any society – determine those for you.
  • Look, no matter where you live, the biggest defect we human beings have is our shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential, stretching ourselves into everything we can become.
  • It’s not just other people we need to forgive. We also need to forgive ourselves.
  • People act as if death is contagious… It’s not contagious, you know. Death is as natural as life. It’s part of the deal we made.
  • Death ends a life, not a relationship.
  • There is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for both parties, what they want and what they need, what they can do and what their life is like.
  • … ignore the lure of advertised values…

Interview: ‘Tuesdays With Morrie,’ Part 1

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