An ordinary thought on the book “Tuesdays with Morrie”

“Tuesdays with Morrie” came to me by chance, without any plan of reading it during the time in hospital. The morning arriving the emergency room, I realized that I hadn’t brought any food-for-mind stuffs while my body would stick to the bed for illness treatment for several upcoming days. I then texted to my brother and some friends of mine that whenever they came to visit me, they might bring along a book, any genre, as a way to pamper me during those days. “Tuesdays with Morrie” came that way 🙂

I am so blissful to ever read it. The beautiful book written by a beautiful soul. Also grateful to have it in time, completely free mind to read a tiny yet so thoughtful and soul-touching story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Below are some parts of this little book I’d like to note down, to share with like-minded dudes 🙂

[intentionally, in order, from last pages to the middle till first pages]

In “14th Tuesday” chapter

I put the food I had brought with me into the refrigerator – soup, vegetable cakes, tuna salad. I apologized to Charlotte for bringing it. Morrie hadn’t chewed food like this in months, we both knew that, but it had become a small tradition. Sometimes, when you’re losing someone, you hang on to whatever tradition you can.

In 13th Tuesday

In business, people negotiate to win. They negotiate to get what they want. Maybe you’re too used to that. Love is different. Love is when you are as concerned about someone else’s situation as you are about your own.

.

As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories area still there. You live on – in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.

.

His eyes widened. “Mitch, it was a most incredible feeling. The sensation of accepting what was happening, being at peace. I was thinking about a dream I had last week, where I was crossing a bridge into something unknown. Being ready to move on to whatever is next.

In The Audiovisual chapter

“Be compassionate,” Morrie whispered. “And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this would be so much better a place.” He took a breath, then added his mantra: “love each other or die.”

In 11th Tuesday

“People are only mean when they’re threatened,” he said later that day, “and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture.

In 10th Tuesday

Is there some kind of rule to know if a marriage is going to work?

Morrie smiled. “Things are not that simple, Mitch.”

I know.

“Still,” he said, “there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: if you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.

“and the biggest one of those values, Mitch?”

Yes?

“your belief in the importance of your marriage.”

[to sum up, “work as a team” 🙂 ]

In 9th Tuesday

“do you know what I do? When someone wants to get ahead of me in traffic – when I used to be able to drive – I would raise my hand…”

He tried to do this now, but the hand lifted weakly, only six inches.

“…. I would raise my hand, as if I was going to make a negative gesture, and then I would wave and smile. Instead of giving them the finger, you let them go, and you smile.

“you know what? A lot of times they smiled back.”

“the truth is, I don’t have to be in that much of a hurry with my car. I would rather put my energies into people.”

In 8th Tuesday

“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 the people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.

In 7th Tuesday

“The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a three-year-old, I’m a five-year-old, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old, I’m a fifty-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own. Do you understand?”

I nodded.

“how can I be envious of where you are – when I’ve been there myself?”

[embrace each moment in life, embrace aging 🙂 ]

In 6th Tuesday

I thought about how often this was needed in everyday life. How we feel lonely, sometimes to the point of tears, but we don’t let those tears come because we are not supposed to cry. Or how we feel a surge of love for a partner but we don’t say anything because we’re frozen with the fear of what those words might do to the relationship.

.

Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely – but eventually be able to say, “all right, that was my moment with loneliness. I’m not afraid of feeling lonely, but now I’m going to put that loneliness aside and know that there are other emotions in the world, and I’m going to experience them as well.”

“detach,” Morrie said again.

In 5th Tuesday

“Say I was divorced, or living alone, or had no children. This disease – what I’m going through – would be so much harder. I’m not sure I could do it. Sure, people would come visit, friends, associates, but it’s not the same as having someone who will not leave. It’s not the same as having someone whom you know has an eye on you, is watching you the whole time.

“this is part of what a family is about, not just love, but letting others know there’s someone who is watching out for them. It’s what I missed so much when mother died – what I call your “spiritual security” – knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame.”

He shot me a look.

“not work,” he added.

.

“the fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. It’s become quite clear to me as I’ve been sick. If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, ‘love each other or perish.’ ”

In 3rd Tuesday

“Mitch,” he said, “the culture doesn’t encourage you to think about such things until you’re about to die. We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks – we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?”

He paused.

“you need someone to probe you in that direction. It won’t just happen automatically.”

I knew what he was saying. We all need teachers in our lives.

And mine was sitting in front of me.

In 2nd Tuesday

“sometimes, in the mornings,” he said. “That’s when I mourn. I feel around my body, I move my fingers and my hands – whatever I can still move – and I mourn what I’ve lost. I mourn the slow, insidious way in which I’m dying. But then I stop mourning.”

Just like that?

“I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. On the people who are coming to see me. On the stories I’m going to hear. On you – if it’s Tuesday. Because we’re Tuesday people.”

In 1st Tuesday

“the most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

In other un-named chapters

“have I told you about the tension of opposites?” he says.

The tension of opposites?

“life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. you take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.

“a tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.”

Sounds like a wrestling match, I say.

“a wrestling match.” He laughs. “yes, you could describe life that way.”

So which side wins, I ask?

“which side wins?”

He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth.

“love wins. Love always wins.”

.

“have you found someone to share your heart with?” he asked.

“are you giving to your community?”

“are you at peace with yourself?”

“are you trying to be as human as you can be?”

.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The book also reminded me of my first-ever teacher in market research industry. Not only teaching me invaluable knowledge and techniques in MR, he also shared his earned multi-year-experience with me, encouraged me to raise questions and always gave smiles back then with thoughtful answers, even in his crazily hectic days.

I’ve just reviewed my 1st haft year, and his note for me came out by chance. Nearly 2 years passed by, I still relate to and keep learning as per his advice.

.

Nam oi,

Here are your strengths and areas to improve, as I seen it 🙂

Strengths

–          Intelligent and extremely quick learner.

–          Also you are a proactive learner – unlike lots of other people waiting to be taught something, you actually seek it out on your own

–          Hard working and committed to meeting deadlines

–          You have strong project management skills, you proactively deal with client request/changes. I always felt confident that if I left you to run the project, that everyone would be done right

–          You are aggressive (in a good way 🙂 ) you don’t just take ‘no’ for answer with GBS

–          You have good communication skills with the client – you have dealt very well and independently with JTI, Holcim, Rhino horn people etc. Even you come to meet for advice, you generally have also come with a  possible solution (this is very important to continue to do…never go to your boss with a  problem if you haven’t already attempted to think of a solution)

–          Your basic analysis & reporting is good…KMMs product testing etc. You know how to read and report data.

Development Areas

–          Don’t be shy around clients 🙂 – I notice in the VAC, Jolibee and Rhino Horn meeting with client, you are very quiet. No need to be, you understand exactly what is going on and how to answer / ask questions

–          Continue to work on more advance analysis, even just stuff like U&A. To be honest I think you have had limited opportunity to work on this so far.

  • o   Look to this JTI project to show your skills. I know you have them, I remember your interview preso 🙂
  • o   Good researchers / analyst can identify and link different metrics. This will take some time and experience to be able to do, but when report writing start thinking about what else could impact on this and how can I test that impact.
  • o   When I started at Nielsen I had a Mexican AD, who was also a friend of mine. He gave me the best advice one day, which was ‘what would you do’. We are all consumers, if you get stuck on the logic of something, just think about with your consumer hat on.

[…. ]

–          Continue to keep working on your strengths, keep learning, keep doing those thing you do well

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