Sunday, August 26, 2007

What did I learn from Morrie

I am currently reading Tuesdays with Morrie. The book tells a story of a dying college professor ( Morrie ) teaching his last class to one student ( Mitch ). As I read, I become one of Morrie's students. His class is about the meaning of life and the lessons in how to live. 
  1. Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.
  2. Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.
  3. As you grow, you learn more.  
  4. Be compassionate.
  5. Be fully present. Be with the person you're with.
  6. Be more open.
  7. Death ends a life, not a relationship.
  8. Devote yourself to loving others.
  9. Don't assume that it's too late to get involved.
  10. Dying is only one thing to be sad over, living unhappily is something else.
  11. Every thing is impermanent.
  12. Everyone knows they're going to die but nobody believes it.
  13. Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.
  14. Love always wins.
  15. Love each other or die.
  16. Love is the only rational act.
  17. Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.
  18. Pay attention when your loved ones are speaking as if it were the last time you might hear them.       
  19. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too.
  20. Take responsibility for each other.
  21. The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. You have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it.
  22. The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in.
  23. What we take, we must replenish.    
  24. When you are in bed, you're dead.
  25. When you realize you are going to die, you see everything much differently.
ISBN: 0385496494

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Little Bird

I am currently reading Tuesdays with Morrie. The book tells a story of a dying college professor ( Morrie ) teaching his last class to one student ( Mitch ). As I read, I become one of Morrie's students. His class is about the meaning of life and the lessons in how to live.

One of the lessons in the book is once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. How should we die? Read on!

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom
Page 81
ISBN: 0385496494

"Everyone knows they're going to die," he ( Morrie ) said again, "but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently."

So we kid ourselves about death, I ( Mitch ) said.

"Yes. But there's a better approach. To know you're going to die and to be prepared for it at any time. That's better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you're living."

How can you ever be prepared to die?

"Do what the Buddhists do. Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, 'Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?'"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chestnut Lodge

I recently read the book and watch the video - Tuesdays with Morrie. The video was as good as the book. It shows the main lessons to be learned in the book. It is a good addition to the book as not everybody wants to read. Video allows the book to reach more learners.

One event that I feel that is good to feature in the video but was not was what Morrie learn from working at Chestnut Lodge ( mental hospital ). He learn that people want someone to notice their existence and money cannot buy happiness.

Sense from:
Tuesdays with Morrie
Mich Albom
Page 109 - 111
ISBN: 0385496494

The Morrie I knew, the Morrie so many others knew, would not have been the man he was without the years he spent working at a mental hospital just outside Washington, D.C., a place with the deceptively peaceful name of Chestnut Lodge. It was one of Morrie’s first jobs after plowing through a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Having rejected medicine, law, and business, Morrie had decided the research World would be a place where he could contribute without exploiting others.

Morrie was given a grant to observe mental patients and record their treatments. While the idea seems common today, it was groundbreaking in the early fifties. Morrie saw patients who would scream all day. Patients who would cry all night. Patients soiling their underwear. Patients refusing to eat, having to be held down, medicated, fed intravenously.

One of the patients, a middle-aged woman, came out of her room every day and lay facedown on the tile floor, stayed there for hours, as doctors and nurses stepped around her. Morrie watched in horror. He took notes, which is what he was there to do. Every day, she did the same thing: came out in the morning, lay on the floor, stayed there until the evening, talking to no one, ignored by everyone. It saddened Morrie. He began to sit on the floor with her, even lay down alongside her, trying to draw her out of her misery. Eventually, he got her to sit up, and even to return to her room. What she mostly wanted, he learned, was the same thing many people want - someone to notice she was there.

Morrie worked at Chestnut Lodge for five years. Although it wasn’t encouraged, he befriended some of the patients, including a woman who joked with him about how lucky she was to be there “because my husband is rich so he can afford it. Can you imagine if I had to be in one of those cheap mental hospitals?”

Another woman - who would spit at everyone else took to Morrie and called him her friend. They talked each day, and the staff was at least encouraged that someone had gotten through to her. But one day she ran away and Morrie was asked to help bring her back. They tracked her down in a nearby store, hiding in the back, and when Morrie went in, she burned an angry look at him.
“So you’re one of them, too,” she snarled.
“One of who?”
“My jailers.”

Morrie observed that most of the patients there had been rejected and ignored in their lives, made to feel that they didn’t exist. They also missed compassion - something the staff ran out of quickly. And many of these patients were well-off, from rich families, so their wealth did not buy them happiness or contentment. It was a lesson he never forgot.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tension of opposites

Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom
Page 40
ISBN: 0385496494

Life Instructions

Life Instructions