After hearing about it on television, my eighty year old mother-in-law, a retired school teacher,Â asked for a copy; and she hasn’t wanted to read a book in years! Ten years after its publication, the book is stillÂ considered by high school English teachersÂ worth assigning to ninth graders like my son.
What is it about Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie? An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson that continues to draw people?
Who wouldn’t want to learn life’s greatest lesson?
Who is more likely to want to learn the lesson than a young person?
Who is more likely toÂ beÂ able to teachÂ such a lessonÂ than an old man?
So I read the book. (It doesn’t takeÂ more than an hour or so.)
Morrie Schwartz was a retired sociology professor from Brandeis University, who had supervised the senior thesis of future sports writer Mitch Albom. An appearance on Nightline made Morrie famous and prompted Mr. Albom to interview his mentor while on strike against his Detroit newspaper employer.
Mr. Schwartz was the teacher of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. During the Vietnam War he gave students nothing but As so they wouldn’t have to fear flunking out and being drafted. He organized activist field trips, such as one to levitate the Pentagon. HeÂ was one of the first professors to stop lecturing and start discussing, to stop wearing jacket and tie to classÂ and start wearing work clothes.
What is the lesson Professor Schwartz has learned? What is life’s greatest lesson?
As the Beatles sang,
Isn’t that the lesson of the Kingdom of God?
Morrie: Love is God
Jesus: God is love.
Â And the order of those words makes a lifetime of difference.