Death will penetrate our life someday. But the day is too far, and we forget the fact. Perhaps, this book is the Morrie and Mitch’s attempt to make us believe the fact and change the ways we see our lives.
The book is to be felt rather than understood; it talks to your heart rather than to your brain. There is no evidence behind what he asserts, but we can feel that what he says is (probably) right by looking at him and looking back our short lives.
As Morrie said, “everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.” This is a powerful statement that hit me. I knew I was going to die someday, but I didn’t believe it. If I truly believe it, what will be different?
Human beings are short-sighted. We have a hard time seeing the future-us, the fully realized beings. We are blinded by small problems to realize our potentials; so we consume our lives, rather than living our lives.
We are mindlessly busy, and our mind becomes empty. We fill up our brain with mindless information, desires, and values, and finally become the mindless beings. Now, we even interact with mindless beings, which accelerates the world to become mindless. What we need is mindfulness. We need more love, compassion, and trust–the human things.
To do so, we should overcome our culture, as it imposes those values on us. “You should buy at least this car,” “You should have at least this much money,” “You at least need this much education,” our ears and eyes are full of these messages today. It is hard to ignore these, but we should try. As Morrie said, we can give up little things, but the big things such as how we think and what we value, we must choose ourselves, shouldn’t let anyone or society choose for us.
Morrie created his own culture. His culture is human and mindful. Conversation, interaction, and affection are at the center of his culture. Discussion groups, walks with friends, dancing to his music. Free mental health services for poor people (which is his main research area.) He took more time eating and looking at nature, not watching TV sitcoms or scrolling through the Internet gossips.
When death is near us, materialistic things mean nothing to us. Money, fame, work–none of them we regret on the death-bed. Then, what should we do?
We should rethink death, not to be depressed, but to rediscover life and live better. Morrie’s story is fascinating, brave, and moving. But if it doesn’t make a change in us, it’s nothing. How feelings become change? Persistence. We should put death near us, as Gandhi did. “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”