The book contains the wisdom of Morrie Schwartz, Albom’s old professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. I interviewed Albom almost a quarter century ago when the book first came out. He talked about what a fluke it was that he had written this book at all.
It started with a chance viewing of the TV news show “Nightline.” Albom told me that he rarely watched it. One night he happened to have the program on and he noticed that Schwartz was appearing as a guest and talking about his illness, ALS. The professor shared how he was facing a death that would be coming fairly soon.
This chance event led Albom to realize that he had to get back in touch with his former sociology professor and that he had better do it fast. This is how the book came about. Albom, a journalist in Detroit, began flying to Boston almost every week to sit down with Morrie to talk but mostly, just to listen.
Their meetings usually occurred on Tuesdays, thus the title. He decided to write a book about it. Proceeds from book sales were directed to paying Morrie’s mounting medical bills, and to his family.
Here are some of Morrie’s timeless pearls of wisdom that he imparted to Albom on those now long ago Tuesdays:
“Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
“I know you think this is just about dying, but it’s like I keep telling you. When you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
“Accept who you are; and revel in it.
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
“As you grow, you learn more. Aging is not just decay…it’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand that you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”
“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”
“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”
Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.