Tuesdays with Morrie: Themes

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Themes

Life through death

After Mitch learned about Morrie’s situation, he began to visit him every day on Tuesday. Each visit was like a class and focused on learning about life while facing death. Morrie emphasizes that life is delicate and everyone should spend his life while doing important things like having close friends while loving life and family. He also says that being so close to death is what made him live to the fullest. Morrie says that a better method is to live every moment to its fullest and as if you could die at any time. Morrie also says that he will still be living partially even when he is dead, as the love and memories he gives are what will live on.

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The rejection of culture in favor of self-created values

Morrie contributes in a message of rejecting cultural values and instead develop his own. He says that popular culture is authoritarian in which the human community must suffer. Morrie encourages Mitch to free himself from cultural dictatorship which makes people lack happiness in favor of creating his own culture laid on acceptance, love and open communication. The author also creates his own subculture, believing that dependency and physical appearance is nothing to be ashamed of as everyone is the same and thus we should love each other equally although the culture lacked love and made one to feel threatened.

Acceptance through detachment

Morrie is able to step out of his physical surroundings into his own state of consciousness for the sake of gaining perspective in a stressful situation. He detaches himself from the experience when he suffers coughing spells and does not intend to stop feeling so. He wants to experience the situation entirely. He practices this often during life-threatening situations because he does not want to die upset or scared. He detaches himself so that he can be able to embrace his death easier since it is approaching and accept the situations in his life. He understands his memories will forever live on in others.

The Interview

Rosa is a 74-year-old mother and grandmother. She was born October 30, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her father worked for the Norfolk Railway, and her mother was a homemaker. Rosa was the oldest of eight children and they lived in a two bedroom house. She is the aunt of my husband and has always taken a liken to me. So, she didn’t hesitate when I asked if I could interview her. I knew she would speak her mind. She doesn’t really look her age in my opinion (good genes I guess). She graduated from high school in 1962. She worked for Social Security and retired back in 2004. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, as most grandparents do. This interview took place in the comfort of her own home. She was quite nervous. In fact, it took us a few takes to get the interview done.

Before the interview began, I reminded her that she was gorgeous as she complained about not looking her best. We sat at her breakfast bar in the kitchen. I went on to tell her the questions that would be asked. As a child, she remembered the fun games she played. She enjoyed playing in the dirt and making mud pies. It wasn’t a lot of things they could do, but they made the best of it. She went on to explain how they had a funeral for a dead bird that they had found. At that moment I knew she was aware of death. They had an entire funeral service for the bird. Her cousin played the preacher, and they would pray and sing. The term elderly has different meanings for different people. Her response, I don’t feel old. She went on to explain that she really doesn’t know what old feels like. She looks great for her age as compared to others. Her best moment in life was her Sweet Sixteen. She really enjoyed that age. She couldn’t explain the worst thing about her age as she didn’t have any, but the best thing about her age was just being blessed to live this long. She is in great health, and she thanks the Lord for all his many blessings upon her. Being asked about a troubling experience, she became teary eyed. She explained how she lost her only granddaughter at that time. It was heartbreaking and nearly took her away from here. When asked about her faith, she stated prayer was the key to everything. Prayer helped her in so many ways. She leaves all of her cares and worries with the Lord. When asked of regrets or anything she would do over, she stated I wouldn’t change a thing. She has lived a great life and is proud of everything in her life. She has always been a fun and happy person and wants to be remembered as such. In order to live a meaningful life, she would suggest being true to yourself and others. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Growing up, her parents always taught her to be obedient. She learned that obedience will carry you a long way in life. The younger generation could learn a thing or two about being obedient and respectful to others.

Self-Reflection

You can imagine the things you can learn from others when you take the time out to talk with them. If it wasn’t for this assignment, I wouldn’t have asked these questions at all. I was enlightened during this assignment. We should spend more time with our elders as their time could be dwindling down. Mitch made a choice to spend time with Morrie during his last days out of love and compassion. During this process, he learned a lot from Morrie. Happiness is not about wealth or fame, but the love and memories you can give others. This book has given me an understanding of the elderly and gained wisdom to incorporate into my life. I will always live my life to the fullest, and to always create memories with the ones I love. Aunt Rosa has taught me to always be myself in whatever I chose to do. Always be obedient and respectful. I’ve learned from her to be true to myself and others. When it comes to the term old, it’s basically a state of mind. She didn’t think she was old nor did she feel old. She wants to be remembered as being the fun, loving, and happy person that she is. What I will take with me from this assignment is to find happiness with your life because you only get one.

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