AUTHOR – MITCH ALBOM
PUBLISHED IN – 1997
PAGES – 190
So, let’s see. It has been a while since I wrote anything. I didn’t stop reading though. I just could write. My mind is just too tangled with stuff of absolute no importance.
Anyway, let’s get on with the book for now. It has been a while since I completed it but I remember it as if I finished it a minute ago. I hadn’t enjoyed Albom’s other book, The five people you meet in heaven. But this one? It’s a pure miracle. Miracle? You might ask why. And I can offer no reason. It just was.
This book is basically a memoir of sorts. Written by Albom, it transports the reader from the very beginning where he gets in contact with his college professor, Morrie who suffers from ALS then. It goes along the story of Albom meeting his old professor every Tuesday and trying to understand everything. ‘Understand everything’ won’t be proper. It was more along the lines of ‘coming to terms with everything’. So every Tuesday, the author finds himself sitting with his friend and talk about all those things in life which baffles an individual to it’s core : love, friendship, relationships, money, career, death. The book ends when Morrie passes away, giving his everything to the disease.
What I liked most about the book? Morrie. I don’t know why but I have always respected and loved the older generation in a certain way. It was almost similar to the way I felt while reading A man called Ove. I read about a old guy and I just assume that here’s a man who knows everything, he has seen everything, he has felt everything, he has done it. Done what? Life. He went through it and now stands tall (not really, he’s old, he leans forward now ), undefeated and ever smiling. Whenever I find older people smiling at me, I could almost read along their eyes. They seem to be saying, “It’s okay. We all get through it somehow and you shall too.” Weird. Maybe I am being biased here because I am awful close to both sets of my grandparents. Maybe that’s why I can speak old. That doesn’t really make sense. Funnily, I have had people come to me and say that I have a soul of a 60 year old lady. Sure, sure.
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Recently, I was in a cab and I was quite unsuccessfully trying to strike a conversation with the middle aged driver. I told him how I recently started working. He shook his head and told me, “Madam, jobs mean nothing. I have switched five different jobs, each equally distinct from the other, trying to find peace of mind but so far I have found none. Work for the society. You shall find immense joy when you begin to give back to the society selflessly.” What can I even say anything to this?
“If you hold back on the emotions–if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them–you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.”
On the contrary, I always thought that I felt too much. It is like I take the emotions and butcher them and inject them inside. But I understand what he meant. Everything has it’s proper timing. It’s better to feel everything and live freely instead of bottling up everything and live with constant burden.
“What’s wrong with being number two?”
Indeed! The rat race is eating up everyone now. Do people even exist who have been spared from it?
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”
Truly, more than often I find myself refusing to look into the mirror and come in face to face with someone I have come to dislike strongly.
“This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It’s knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.”
A few days ago, I had an intense conversation with my parents regarding how I have been feeling. Well, I would hardly call it a conversation as I kept sobbing every five minutes. I quite unabashedly let them know that it has difficult for me to live now. There was no explanation to it. I can say that I find myself very lucky to have been born to them. Not a moment of judgement, just pure love. It won’t be far from truth if I say that they are the reason why I am still alive. It’s easy to say that it’s get better soon. It’s just not really an easy path to travel.
P.S- I can’t believe I only came across this song now. Can I get it out of my head?