Last night I finished reading this book. And to say I love it is an understatement.
I learnt so much from it. The book puts life back into perspective.
My mother-in-law is in a book club. She read it and she liked it so much she gave me a copy. Unfortunately, I was still chin high in night feeds and sleeplessness when she gave it to me. But recently, I've picked it up and started it again. It's not a big book, the writing is a good size and the story was so interesting, once I started it took just three short sittings before I finished it.
It's non-fiction. A real story about real people even using their real names. A university lecturer who's dying and his student. Their Tuesdays together (because they're Tuesday People) and a relationship that grows. There is a load of life wisdom worth taking on board.
What did I get out of it? Heaps. And instead of me telling you about it, how about you read just a few of the little gems from the book below? Or perhaps you should borrow or buy the book yourself? I think it ought to be one of the more read books in your book collection...
The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it... It's the same for women not being thin enough, men not being rich enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it.
We've got a form of brainwashing going on in our country at the moment. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. We repeat it - and have it repeated to us - over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. These people are so hungry for love that they are accepting substitutes. They are embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love and for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
The problem is we don't think we are as much alike as we are. Whites and blacks. Catholics and Protestants, men and women. If we saw each other as more alike, we might be very eager to join in one big human family in this world, and to care about that family the way we care about our own. When you are dying, you see it is true. We all have the same beginning - birth - and we all have the same end - death. So how different can we be? Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you. In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life... you need others to survive, right? Here's the secret: in between, we need others as well.
Fear of Aging:
As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed twenty-two, you'd always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not decay, it's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die. It's also the positive that you understand you're going to die and that you live a better life because of it. Those who say, "Oh how I wish to be young again" reflects an unsatisfied life. An unfulfilled life. Lives that haven't found meaning. Because if you've found meaning in your life, you don't want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can't wait until sixty-five. If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy because it will happen anyhow. And how can I be envious of where you are - when I've been there myself?
Love goes on:
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. And if you have read it before, read it again. Put meaning into your life and take a few hints from the wise Professor Morrie Schwartz.
**** star rating