What a teacher is, is more important than what they teach.
Growing up, all of us have had a teacher that we love and adore, who despite being in touch or not still happens to be our favorite. We may not remember the equations they taught us or the revolutions that went around, but what we remember is what they made us feel, and their indescribable impact that will guide us through eternity. Such is a bond between Morrie and his favorite student, Mitch.
Our life happens outside the class, and when one may not remember how to score good at exams, one always remembers the way the teachers taught them to live. Such a Sociology teacher was Morrie who instantly became Mitch’s favorite.
Spending a lot of time together in college, the day of graduation finally arrived. Goodbyes, hugs, tears, and promises to keep in touch were exchanged between the teacher and student much like all of us. And then, life happened. Running for a job, then money, then the terrace apartment on the 15th floor, a car, a wife and kids.
Somewhere between all this, we forget every promise we made to ourselves and others before entering the ‘real world’, it becomes a faded memory.
Mitch too got separated from his teacher running after all these things we tag as ‘accomplishments’.
Meanwhile, Mitch has grown old, almost on his death bed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (or ALS). He can’t walk, can’t dance, even has trouble breathing but Morrie being the man he is, decides never to give up, till his last artificial breath. Destined to unite with his teacher, Mitch gets to know about Morrie’s situation on a News Channel and hence began the ‘Tuesdays with Morrie‘ sessions.
Every Tuesday Mitch would fly to see Morrie, the old man’s health degrading every week. One thing that was common was his unabashed spirit to live, despite not being able to eat, drink, or even cleanse himself. Being the lovely small man that he was Morrie had always valued people more than any other ‘accomplishment’ in his life. That’s why he still had all his loved ones around him, all his students still visiting him and friends who took all his pain away. He didn’t have any regrets per se, but as every day the man approached his death, his vision of his life grew clearer, which was the subject for all the Tuesday sessions.
One sitting with Morrie was enough for Mitch to reconsider everything he’s been doing in the past decades. He had a respectable job, a good family, an overwhelming bank account, why then wasn’t he happy? Why then was something incomplete?
One good thing about people we grow together with is they know the true us, though we forget who we are when we run through life, a reality check from them is enough to get us back on track. The same was the case with Mitch and Morrie.
Morrie taught him once again how futile material accompliments were, how restrictive our society culture is and how underrated a silent evening with your family, your kids or with people you love, is!
A series of sessions took Mitch to where it all began, teaching him what is really important and what how stupid he had been all these years running behind everything that’s volatile.
During all these good learnings one thing he was losing on was Morrie who moved closer to his death each week. The sessions ended with Morrie confessing that if he had another son, he would have loved Mitch to be him. A tearful hug and a few unsaid words, that’s how it ended.
Though Morrie was gone, one thing he said always stayed with Mitch,
Death ends life and not a relationship and whilst you are still gone, you live on in the hearts of the people you touched and nurtured.
Maybe that’s wealth, your true legacy, isn’t it?
I hope you loved my take of “Tuesdays with Morrie”. If you did, then do share it with your bibliophile friends or with someone who you think is going through a down phase in life.
Happy Reading 🙂
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