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Nowadays, a lot of people are chasing their dreams. There is nothing wrong with it, except for the fact that they are paying the price with their lives, giving up on their close ones and things that might be the true meaning of their lives. Mitch is a perfect example of an individual who got lost into materialistic stuff and forgot what his true values were. He eventually decides to meet his teacher, Morrie, when he finds out that the latter is going to die soon (Albom 18).
All of Morrie’s lessons deliver a superior memo that each person should discard prevalent cultural values, and, as a replacement for them, develop his or her own. For Morrie, popular culture is a tyrant that is the reason for the human community to grieve. Morrie himself has escaped this cultural despotism all for creating his own culture based on love and acceptance. He develops his individual culture as a rebellion against the greediness, ferocity, and triviality popularized by media, which has discolored the values promoted by popular culture. Morrie inspires Mitch to free himself of this immoral, tyrannical culture in support of his own, and when he does that he starts to reconsider his life and re-experience contentment.
One of the most profound messages elaborated by Morrie is that we are all waves in a boundless ocean, but we should not be afraid of crashing into the shore. Instead, we should embrace our inner self and focus on understanding that we are a part of the ocean as a whole and not just a little helpless wave. Another beautiful idea developed by Morrie establishes that people bury themselves in work, money, and ambition, but they never stand back and ask themselves if that was what they wanted. People get lost in routine and have a hard time coming back, that’s why Morrie cries out to Mitch, knowing he is afraid of showing or receiving love and worries about mistaken things that, in fact, are not that important.
The most important message delivered by Morrie is a lovely story about an imaginary bird. You put it on your shoulder and ask it every day whether your day has come and you can die peacefully. Every other day you ask yourself if you are the person you want to be. The moral of the story is that if we accept the fact that we can die at any time, we will lead our lives differently. If you have a bird on your shoulder, you will not put off the things closest to your heart. If you have found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back, because you are eager to go forward. Morrie questions the importance of spirituality and the ability of a person to love and be loved. He, in reality, sees the meaning of life in love:
On condition that we can love each other, and reminisce about the feeling of love we had, we can pass away without ever actually passing away. All the love you gave still exists. All the reminiscences are still out there. You live on in the hearts of every person you have affected and encouraged while you were here (Albom 174).
It is all about the sense of warmth you get when you remember your loved ones (Wolfe 36). Just like Wolfe, Morrie relies on empathy and compassion in each aspect of his life, praising the humanity and ability to love in an individual. He proves to Mitch that spiritual values are more important than materialistic stuff, and it is never too late to understand it.
The implementation of Morrie’s values in our day to day living seems to be nearly impossible. We are affected by the fast life and a different set of values, imposed on us by the media and surroundings (Findlay 342). Society learned to be misanthropic and cynical. The virtue is ridiculed by society and is considered to be a manifestation of the softness of the character. The nowadays meaning of life turned out to be a commercialized attempt to sell us distorted values wrapped in a bright cover.
The probability of old values revival is rather small, but if you gather like-minded people and help others to believe that we are not lost yet, the chance for a comeback still remains. A quiet and hasteless meeting seems to be the best means of discussing the issue and finding out other people’s opinions on the topic. Such conversations would help understand how people feel about it and what they are craving to be changed or, at least, brought to the attention of the majority. Any online discussions would not do justice to the issue, exposing it to the attacks of those, whose opinion differs radically from what is proposed.
To sum up, the author agrees with Morrie and accepts his set of values. The meaning of life is to be in harmony with yourself. This can only be achieved by learning to love yourself and those who surround you. By showing your love, you leave a mark in the lives of others and live on even after death.
Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson. New York: Random House Large Print, 2010. Print.
Findlay, J. N. Values and Intentions: A Study in Value-Theory and Philosophy of Mind. London: Allen & Unwin, 2014. Print.
Wolfe, Thomas. Of Time and the River; A Legend of Man’s Hunger in His Youth. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1935. Print.