Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesdays with Morrie - the overview
Well I said in the last post I would write down some of the Morrie's insights from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. For those who don't know the book, Morrie was Mitch's professor at College. In his later years Morrie developed ALS which is a slow degenerative disease. Firstly your legs stop, then you are in a wheelchair, then bedridden until your body finally gives up.
Now this post is coming from someone who has known very few people to die. My family are all alive - some grandparents even- so it might be easy for me to say - Well we need to learn from Death.. all well and good until it looks you in the face. So those who are struggling with these concepts or have had someone close to them pass away and are still hurting please don't think these comments are to hurt you.
It's horrible to watch your body slowly wilt away to nothing, but its wonderful because of all the time I get to say goodbye.
Have you found someone to share your life with? Are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you trying to be as human as you can be? Dying is only one thing to be unhappy over - living unhappily is something else!
Our culture doesn't encourage you to think about such things [death,sickness] until you are about to die. We're so wrapped up in egotistical things - career, family, money, mortgages, cars, we don't get in the habit of stepping back looking at our lives. Is this all? Is this what I want? Is something missing?
Everyone knows they are going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. There is a better approach : Know you are going to die, and be prepared for it at anytime. That way you can be more involved in your life while you're living.
Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live
There is no foundation, no secure ground upon people may stand if it isn't the Family. If you don't have support and love and caring and concern you get from a family you don't have much at all. Love is supremely important. Love each other or Perish.
As you grow you learn more. Ageing is not just decay, it's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die - It's the positive that you understand you're going to die and that you live a better life because of it.
The truth is a part of me is every age. I'm a 3 year old, a 5 year old, 37 year old, 55 year old. I am every age up to my own. How could I be envious of the young? When I have been there myself.
Money is not a substitute for tenderness and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you as I sit here dying, when you need it the most, niether money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for no matter how much of it you have.
People gobble up the something new. New car, property, latest toy. People are so hungry for love that they accept substitutes. They're embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug in return, but it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or tenderness.
In the beginning of life when we are infants we need others to survive. At the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive. But here's the secret: in between we need others as well.
It's natural to die, the fact that we make such a hallabaloo over it is because we don't see ourselves as part of nature. We think because we are human we are something above nature. We're not. Everything born dies. As long as we can love each other; and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on in the hearts of everyone you touched and nurtured.
Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Now this is a long post!! Easy when it isn't my words:) Now this was for me more than anyone else, but I hope you got something out of it.