Oct 8, 2019 in Analysis

Discussing in Depth and Analysis

The essence of one’s life is usually measured by the number of people he or she would have touched and a number of lives that a person would have transformed. As such, people’s reputation depends solely on their actions but not on their entitlements. This is the reason as to why there is no known obituary that constitutes the information of the fiscal affluence of the deceased. Instead, all the obituaries do highlight the accomplishments of the deceased in terms of service to others and the society at large. It is, therefore, factual to allude that much as people may die, their deeds and relationship with people he or she had touched live on for eternity. According to Albom, such sentiments were attributed to none other than Morrie Schwartz, a 78 year old professor of sociology, who was dying from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This was the time when he had been visited by Mitch Albom; one of his favorite students that he had taught sociology sixteen years before. In this book, Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom believes that as an individual, a person can only appreciate the true worth of life once he or she realizes that humans are not immortal and that death is inevitable.  

The Meaning of Morrie's Statement "Once You Learn How to Die, You Learn How to Live"

Morrie was very insightful in his reasoning and counseling to those who benefited from his paternity. He often insisted on the need for each individual to live a meaningful and useful life; to oneself and to those who were in proximity. Although Morrie was never interested in amassing affluence for himself as did other people of his caliber, he was said to be a rich person whose treasures were equitably distributed among those he touched in a special way. He was always contended with whatever he got from his profession, and would preach against practices that undermined human dignity in bid to serve one’s personal interests. 

For that reason, the phrase: “once you learn how to die, you learn how to live” means that people should always embrace one another in health relationships. This is because death only ends life but not a relationship. After one would have died and buried, none of whatever he shared with people goes away but lives on with those people for ages. Morrie kept referring to this phrase whenever he got an opportunity to share his life nourishing skill with the people he interacted with, Mitch Albom being one of them. He says that love is how one stays alive even when he or she would have gone. Although it sounds paradoxical, this statement was indeed powerful, and it virtually indicates the reason as to why human beings ought to embrace one another. It is love of each other that brings people together even as life attempts to tear them apart. Without this in mind, life on Earth would be nothing but gauche. People would be at liberty to turn against each other anyhow. At the same time, there would be no need to have rules and laws governing how people should relate with one another. 

It is through appreciation of how to die that one learns how to live. This, according to Morrie, implies that people should always care about whatever legacy to live behind after one’s death because that would actually live on with people for eternity. Anybody who does not care about how he or she will die, may never care about what will live on after departing from this world. Perhaps such a person may never invest in a good relationship with people. As Morrie puts it, “if one spends time with people, when he or she is gone, he or she lives on inside the minds of those people.”        

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The Meaning of Detachment (the 6th Tuesday) Including How Detachment Helps Us to Live Meaningfully and to Die Peacefully

According to Morrie, any human being who learns how to die must also learn how to detach from the aspects of life of this world. Detaching, in this context, means letting go the experience that one may have undergone throughout his or her life. Morrie believed in the Buddhists’ saying that one must never cling on to things because nothing is permanent. It does not matter how one may have been affected and influenced by a particular aspect, when time comes to die, the prudent thing to do is to let everything go away even what one treasures most. For instance, any emotional love for a woman, fear and pain from a deadly ailment, among others, one must be ready to allow oneself to go all the way through these aspects of life before proclaiming to have detached from them. 

It is normal that every human being would be anxious upon feeling that death is near. This situation will obviously be marred by mixed feelings and even confusion and emotions at that point in time. However, as argued by Morrie, one should throw himself/herself into those emotions and permit himself/herself to dive in all the way over his or her head even as he or she experiences them fully. This will help one to have a complete understanding of whatever situation that prevails over him/her and that way he/she will attest that he/she would have had enough experience with virtually everything. At this point, it would not be difficult to detach from them. 

The process of detaching from these experiences also prepares one for a peaceful death. A peaceful death is really imperative for any self-accomplished fellow because he or she would have allowed the fate to prevail upon his/her life other than getting stuck in denial. Morrie reiterates that unless one becomes ready to detach from everything he or she would have undergone in life, death can be a troublesome experiences for them. He believes that anyone who fails to die peacefully has an unsettled spirit after death. This means that much as people would wish that his or her soul rests in eternal peace, the opposite will be true. A person can only die peacefully if in the process of dying he or she sheds off all the fears and allows himself to experience whatever that death brings forth. This helps one to not to leave the world in a state of fright but peaceful as well.            

Morrie's Views on the 4th Tuesday and the 7th Tuesday 

On the 4th Tuesday, Morrie and Mitch discussed much to do with preparation for death. Morrie asserts that as long as one lives, he or she should always mind about the manner of death that one will go through. He insists that death is mandatory although usually people do not want to deliberate on it for unfounded fear. In his defense, Mitch tries to question Morrie on how possible it is for one to prepare for death yet each day people demonstrate optimism for longer life. Morrie says that it is very vital for one to always contemplate about death in his or her daily life. It is through this kind of discerning that enables people to stop being too involved with material properties and unnecessary egotism. Although people must appreciate their accomplishments and their surroundings, nothing should be far from the truth at one moment in life humans will have to detach from all that and accept to move on to the next world. But Morrie insists that that should not be a reason to scare people to begin to misappropriate their material wealth or become lazy. People have to know that whatever actions humans do while alive will live on even after their death. This should motivate people to work even harder because nothing of their hard work will go to waste.

On the other hand, the 7th Tuesday, is a deliberation about Morrie’s fear of aging. Morrie remember how he had shared with Ted Koppel during his first interview that his most fear was the probability that one day he would be wiped by someone else after using the bathroom. Unfortunately, his fears came true because his aide Connie can now do it often for him. He acknowledges that though it is an experience one would never have wished to go through, he has learnt to accept being a child once more. In fact, in his closing remarks, Morrie commends Mitch for giving as an adult and receiving like a child.   

Conclusion

Death is a mysterious yet a definite phenomenon in humans’ lives. Although hardly would people deliberate freely about this experience, the fact is that one must learn to accept that death comes at a certain point in one’s life. It, therefore, wises to be contemplating about this experience even as people maintain their optimism for longer lives on earth. Through these lessons about death, Morrie has taught people what should be expected when preparing to die and how to live prior to death. It is by these fruitful lessons that human beings will strive to live meaningful and useful lives with one another because whatever they do will surely live on even after their death.   

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