Favorite Aphorisms

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    Morrie Schwartz, a former professor at Brandeis University, died from ALS in 1995, but has been preserved in the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Choosing not to live his final months in fear, Morrie meditated on life and spread his ideas in the form of short aphorisms. Among his many aphorisms, my favorite is, “Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.” Experiences, negative or positive, are the way people grow and learn to become better individuals. Oftentimes, people undergo adverse situations and dwell on them for years to come. Learning to live with what happened and moving on is very important for these ones. However, it is just as essential not to “discard” or forget the event without learning from the mistakes made. As Morrie often said, one needs to find a balance between these two.


    To capture the recent reconnection with his old college professor Morrie Schwartz at Brandeis University , author Mitch Albom published the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie. Diagnosed with ALS,  better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Morrie has already lost his ability to walk and will eventually to suffocate him to death. Through their reconnection, Mitch and Morrie begin to meet every Tuesday to discuss the different problems they face and the meaning of life. During one of their meetings, Morrie told Mitch an important aphorism not to worry when he dies because, “Death ends a life not a relationship”(174). Not only does this mean  that because someone dies, the memories you made with that person and relationship you had with them still exists, but also that it just had to be adjusted for the time being because they are no longer able to talk and connect with you physically. I am able to connect with this aphorism personally by experiencing the death of someone with whom I have had a close relationship; I am still able to connect with my grandfather through different ways since his death.  Remembering the wonderful memories and lessons that he taught me keeps his spirit alive and allows our relationship to go on and influence my life and decisions I make. Of course, it may be difficult to adjust to the difference to the existing relationship, but a death doesn’t mean it ends.


    Not only is Morrie Schwartz a great teacher in his youth, but also he is a great teacher throughout his final days. Shown in the memoir Tuesdays With Morrie, Morrie’s wisdom and lessons on life are passed on to Mitch Albom, his former student and author of his memoir, as Morrie suffers near the end of his battle against ALS. A man of words with prolific meaning, Morrie often shares aphorisms, short phrases that speak of important lessons, in his memoir. In particular, my favorite aphorism of Morrie’s is “You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean” (Albom 180). There are multiple ways to view this quote, but for me, I consider this phrase the perfect way to sum up how insignificant some things in life are. When one really thinks about it, what effect will the outcome of a sports game have on the rest of the world? Actually, little to none, but someone may view a favorite team losing the championship as a temporary end of the world. If someone is able to objectively look at something that has happened, it may not seem so devastating and earth-shattering. I believe that if I am able to view things in this way, life will be easier because in the grand scheme of things issues that may seem so important really have no impact on the rest of my life.

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