Top critical review
A great book to pick beautiful profound idealistic quotes. Core theme is nothing new.
Reviewed in India on 8 March 2019
I’m just done reading this book, and this is one of those books where I find myself agreeing with the positive reviews and the negative reviews with almost equal enthusiasm. On one hand, you have a relationship between a student and his dying professor, who has seen life and its meaning, and who is ready shower the student with a lot of wisdom (so he can make millions off selling the book, maybe). You know, it is such an irony, where Morrie talks about money and how it shouldn’t be a priority in life when there are other more important things in life. And then there’s Mitch, picking the conversations, making a book, and making a fortune out of it. I find it really funny. It’s like creating a capitalistic empire by selling the ideas of Karl Marx in a book!
Anyway, the way everything is described in the book seems like such an ideal world, where everything can be pasted on a greeting card and sold off. Everything is extremely dramatic and prolonged, and filled with clichés like ‘Love conquers everything’ (Oh really, I never heard that one before!)
Definitely, this book is ‘nice’. You know, that feeling of goodness, happiness mixed with a bit of sorrow, where you read things and the world seems like a better place because the words touch as they describe an ideal way of living, an ideal life, and defines the true meaning of life. Well, you get that feeling reading this book, right from the first page.
‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ definitely encourages the reader to stop and think about what is important in life. However, I think it falls short in giving any new insights over the subject. It does tell you how to figure out life’s meaning or priorities for your own self, it will not help you in achieving that balance in life where you live like there’s no tomorrow, while simultaneously being aware of your future responsibilities.
Morrie was a great guy, a nice guy. He has great things to say throughout the book. Almost half the book can be simply picked up and passed on as a profound quote against a beautiful background and would make up for a great greeting card. The book is not really a story, but more like a conversation between a student and his dying teacher. Many parts, where Morrie talks about the real meaning of life, about giving, about love, about sharing the happiness, it really touches your heart and you would definitely feel the emotion. However, the message from the first page is pretty simple and nothing new - “Surround yourself with loved ones and know what is important, and don't get caught with money and business. We have heard that a million times!”. Well, everybody knows that, nothing new.
Some sections in the book, I did not like at all. For instance, Morrie’s views on marriage or having children. Well, these are things very subjective to each individual.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- “Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it. Create your own. Most people can't do it.”
- “Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”
- “Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
- “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.”
- “Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match...Which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins”
- “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.”
- “If you're trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down on you anyhow. And if you're trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. The status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.”
- “There is a big confusion in this country over what we want versus what we need...you need food. You want a chocolate sundae.”
To conclude, It’s a light read and a short book, you can pick it up and finish over a weekend. Some people will just love it, while more mature readers might think it otherwise. Cheers!