Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'To Learn How to Live, You Must First Learn How to Die'


I've bought and read the book, Tuesdays With Morrie for at least 3 times and still, each time I learned new things from this wonderfully-written book. Recently I found out that it has a movie version made by Oprah Winfrey back in 1999, which did not disappoint any less.

It is about the author, Mitch Albom who discovered his college professor sufferred from a terminal disease called ALS or simply the Lou Gehrig's Disease, which collapses the body organ and system one by one starting with the lower limbs and finally the lungs. He spent the final days of his professor by visiting the latter on Tuesdays, taking a 700 miles trip each week from Detroit to Chicago and learned new things about life.

As Oprah said, to be a best-seller for more than two years, a story has got to have a connection to the people reading it. And damn she was right. The story of Mitch Albom and his Professor Morrie Shwartz was so simple yet it struck you as if you knew the characters personally. Each page speaks so clearly without any need of fancy language or aphorism.

To know how to live, you must first know how to die - that's the main headline for Morrie's lesson throughout the book. Though he was dying, his lessons were not about it, but about living. How you should actually live your life, not according to what the society or the job made you.

Morrie's life was so colorful. He was a beloved lecturer, full of joy, loved dancing and made you think he was not the type of person who would die in such agonizing disease. But he did. And the most profound lesson which I picked up from the first read and apply it up to this day was to acknowledge a negative feeling and detach yourself from it. When asked by Albom if he ever felt sad about the disease, he said each morning, he allowed himself to be sad, angry and cry himself out for 10 minutes and then detach the emotions completely and move on with the rest of the day. He detach himself from the negative feelings, leave it right there to face a wonderful day ahead. That's how to live according to him and I found it totally relevant to my senses.

There's a whole lot more lessons in the book, like 'Everyone wants to be no.1, what's wrong being no.2?'. To read this book or at least watch the movie, is like opening yourself out to a whole new meaning of life. I know it sounds cliche but trust me, this book will really change the way you perceive life.

PS: I'm sorry this is not properly written. I'm getting drowsy of the drug I took a couple of hours ago.

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