My senior English class recently finished writing a persuasive research paper. To slow down a little and have some fun, my teacher assigned us the book Tuesdays with Morrie. Fun? No. I hate non-fiction. Or so I thought. Now, we’ve read a little more than half of the book, and it has already touched me in more ways than I can imagine.
One of the first quotes that really had an impact on me was “Accept the past as past, without denying it or disregarding it” found on page 18. As simple as the aphorism is, it’s not an easy thing to do. You can’t deny your past because it is an important part of who you are today. And you can’t disregard it because remembering past mistakes helps to keep you from making them again in the future. We have to accept that our pasts are over and move on, getting a little better with every step we take.
Another one of my favorite parts was Morrie’s story about the “tension of opposites” on page 40. Morrie says, “Life is a series of pulls back and forth…A tension of opposites like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.” When I read this, I felt like Morrie Schwartz had read my mind. We constantly have choices to make, and they’re not always easy. Sometimes our head tells us to do one thing, when our heart really wants to do another. I have recently found myself in several situations where I know how I should feel, but am left wondering why I feel the exact opposite. All of life is battle with these opposites. It may get tiresome, but Morrie also gave this encouraging advice: “Love wins. Love always wins.” Pg.40.
So far, the quote that has had the biggest impact on me is “…The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others…”Contrary to many beliefs, the glamour and shine of everyday things like houses, cars, or celebrities are not where you’ll find the meaning of your life. You won’t find it in your high-paying job, or any material things. You’ll find meaning in your life when you look for it in other people. When you devote yourself to loving others, you are opened up to being loved in return, and I can’t think of any greater meaning in life than this.
In just the first half of the book, Morrie has taught me so much. It takes a special person to be such an inspiration throughout life, but it takes an extraordinary person like Morrie to be an inspiration in death as well. I look forward finding more truth and inspiration as I finish the book, and I have no doubt that I will add it to my list of favorites (even if it is non-fiction.)