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On the Bookshelf: Tuesdays with Morrie

“Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.” -Tuesdays with Morrie

I recently read Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (if you’re interested in a summary of the book, you can check out the description on Goodreads or Amazon). With all that is going on in the world–the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russia beefing up military exercises near the Ukrainian border, and the US deporting children; and all that’s happening in my small part of the world–feeling excited about a new place but also like a fish out of water in some way, entering my first semester as an instructor at a new school, trying to get over my sadness that there’s no Trader Joe’s here–Morrie’s simple words felt like the antidote to everything. We know all of this, don’t we? We know that it’s important to invest in humanity. We know that community–real community–takes work and requires you to be pre sent and sometimes compromising. And we know that loving and being loved are more important than anything else, because everything else can fall under those categories. But sometimes we need reminders–maybe even life lines–to snap us back into the reality that we are breathing, thinking, acting human beings. If there is to be any positive change, if there has ever been positive change, I think it is because of what is summed up in those three sentences: invest. human. family. community. love. The book explores many topics, some of them touching, but this is what stood out to me the most.

Do I recommend the book? Eh. Maybe. Depends on what you’re looking for. I enjoy Mitch Albom’s writing style. I also really love the idea that something about him makes people comfortable enough to share really difficult things with him, which he turns into some beautiful writing. However, the book is about death. It’s sad sometimes. It’s philosophical. It doesn’t have much rising or falling action.  The book is about Morrie, but the experience of reading it is about you. The power of the story, rests almost solely on the reader’s willingness to be vulnerable with the topics covered. I don’t know if the book or the sentences quoted above would have had as much meaning to me if I had read it some other time. Maybe? Maybe something else would have stood out. I’m not sure. What I do know is that the simplicity gave me a little hope in a time when everything seems more complicated than it needs to be.