Mitch Albom “Tuesdays with Morrie”. Mitch vs Morrie

Subject: Literature
Pages: 3
Words: 936
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Based on a real story, “Tuesdays with Morrie” is an excellent book for those seeking to find balance in life. The book by Mitch Albom is a great example of how two completely different people found such a perfect connection and, rather than having a teacher-student relationship, had a father-son attachment. Mitch and Morrie represent entirely opposite approaches to life where Mitch is a materialistic man who controls his life decisions, and Morrie – a soft man who goes with the flow of life. The differences between the two men only bring them closer together in finding the true meaning of life.

Before lessons with Morrie every Tuesday, Mitch would consume himself with work and an idea of being in control of everything, focusing only on materialistic accomplishments. On the other side, Morrie has always given his life to passion and would put spiritual values first. After the death of Mitch’s uncle, he felt the hurry in life, thus abandoning the passion of being a musician, focusing on journalism instead. Mitch said that he buried himself in materialistic accomplishments because that is what made him feel in control (Albom 2002). However, such materialistic things did not bring him pure joy, which he did not realize until later. A young man was so invested in his work; he said: “I would wake up in the morning, brush my teeth, and sit down at the typewriter in the same clothes I had slept in” (Albom 2002, p.6). This was far from the life of his dreams, rather a fake image that Mitch has created himself.

On the contrary, Morrie was the complete opposite of Mitch’s personality. The man dedicated his life to pursuing happiness and passions without ever worrying about material achievements. Morrie created a community around him with numerous hobbies and activities, which brought him spiritual joy (Albom 2002). Such an approach to life made everyday routine a mentally fulfilling experience that would rarely make Morrie anxious or uncomfortable. The professor knew: “You can’t substitute material things for love or gentleness or tenderness or a sense of comradeship” (Albom 2002, p.36). He sought higher moral values and spiritual fulfillment rather than the unstable financial burden and preached the same to Mitch.

The second aspect of character difference between Morrie and Mitch is their perception of death. After seeing the death of his uncle, Mitch became terrified of death. The fear of suffering from cancer, which he strongly believed, would strike him, just like his uncle would mortify him (Albom 2002). The young man turned his life around intending to control every aspect of his life, which is never possible. Before sitting down with Morrie, Mitch felt like his life was moving so quickly he would never be able to keep up (Albom 2002). However, lessons from the professor changed his point of view about the inevitable.

Morrie had always stayed optimistic even when it came to the topic of death. He had philosophical thoughts towards the inevitable. After getting diagnosed with ALS, Morrie made death “his final project” (Albom 2002, p.4). The professor wanted to leave a valuable mark for his students; therefore, he let them observe him while his illnesses progressed. The man influenced the perception of death for many. He desired to leave the world with inner peace and a feeling of living a good life, which he accomplished (Koppel 39:30). Inspiring students and people around Morrie not only changed Mitch’s attitude towards dying but also freed him from these mortifying thoughts.

Previously, it was mentioned how consumed by work Mitch was before and what a polar opposite from it was Morrie. Mitch knew no breaks or limits and worked at an insane pace for a vague goal he once thought was important (Albom 2002). Young men prioritized his job and neglected more important values without realizing it. The family did not play a significant role in his life at that time; even a wife could not influence Mitch’s priorities. “I was back to work a week after the wedding. I told her—and myself—that we would one day start a family. But that day never came” (Albom 2002, p. 6). Such materialistic behavioral patterns only changed upon the Tuesday lessons with Morrie, which Mitch is eternally grateful for.

Opposite to Mitch, Morrie never set a goal to perceive wealth, he had always put his family first and saw a higher meaning in spiritual gainings rather than material. Morrie knew that in the end, the only family is going to watch out for you, and no money or fame can overrule it (Albom 2002). With life values like that, an old man lived a happy life, where he looked back on it with no regrets about missing out on things or people he loved. Simple pleasures are always the ones bringing the most joy, which is what Morrie preached to Mitch. When a person gets old, material gainings never mean a thing, because no one can take them “up there” (Albom 2002). Such differences in life values only brought mentor and student closer as they were diving into the deep meanings of life.

Morrie and Mitch had a long history that started back at the university, but they obtained true connection years after. Despite divergent life views, Morrie always tried to enlighten his student to look at a bigger picture, and value higher morals. “Tuesdays with Morrie” has valuable life lessons that no motivational coach or a physiologist can give. Morrie Schwartz was a man of great importance to his community, and Mitch Albom gave an opportunity to a broader audience to dive into his world.

Works Cited

Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie: an Old Man, a Young Man, and Lifes Greatest Lesson. Sphere, 2002.

Ted Koppel “(Tuesdays with) Morrie Schwartz: Lessons on Living, Ted Koppel Nightline Interview”. Online video clip. YouTube. 2015.