How could I have not read this book yet?! It's a classic, it was cheap, it was tacked on to my last bulk shipment of books from Amazon.
It's a tiny little book, just enough to keep to focused for an afternoon. I think the best place to read it is under a tree in a park on a breezy summers day, where you're in a good and tranquil mood and ready to muse on the meaning of life with Morrie Schwartz and his student, Mitch Albom.
You definitely should not read this book if you are in a cranky or cynical mood, it will just annoy you and you wont be able to really get anything of value out of it. That isn't to say that this is prophet-level stuff, but it's inherent simplicity and genuine nature made me feel like there's something in it for everyone, even if you don't agree with all of the chapters or all of Morrie's musings.
If nothing else, this book makes you stop and think about your life and how you really want to be living it. It makes you review your priorities, lest you wind up twenty years older in a blink of an eye with too many regrets to count. I am the kind of person that tends to get entrenched in the details, furiously focusing on one little thing that I am doing, only to wake up and realize that six months have just passed me by. While there is absolutely nothing wrong in the pursuit of what you love or what you want, it is very important to take a step back once in a while to absorb the simple things in life.
The book has many aphorisms, some of which I may not have agreed with or thought were overly simplistic, but this quote from Morrie is one that resounds perfectly with my personality:
Mitch, if you're trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you're trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere.
There are so many people I know that would let go of so much angst and self-loathing if they would only learn this lesson and allow themselves to let go of this burden.
Any way you slice it, Morrie Schwartz was an inspirational person, and I am very happy that he got the opportunity to share his uniqueness with so many people. He is someone I would have loved to have met.