Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who enthusiastically supported the idea of the Dear Diary Book Club. We love our Dear Diary family and the fact that you are just as interested in all things inspiration, being the best version of yourself, asking questions and brainstorming on different ideas as much as we are. So we thought of creating this book club as an outlet where we all can share our lessons, highlights and takeaways on subjects like mindfulness, motivation, wellbeing, happiness, personal growth, love and relationships (with yourself and others). We are so excited to connect, learn and grow together!
There are many powerful messages in "Tuesdays with Morrie" that a lot of other authors have also covered in their work - family, love, forgiveness, the importance of chasing things that matter in life, etc. However, what makes this book different is that it's a story from someone who has lived his life and now has to be in peace with knowing that an unforgiving disease gradually takes over his body. The strength, peace and wisdom of the character is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.
Morrie was a professor who was adored by his students, Mitch Albom especially. This book is written with much love and respect and a goal to make Morrie's last wish come to life. "Tuesdays with Morrie" offers a mix of sentiment, personal lessons and philosophy. Simple, gentle and very much straight to the point this story gives an insight of some of the most important things that we should always consider and find answers to for ourselves - love, responsibility, spirituality, awareness.
Depending on what we're going through in our lives in that particular moment or our past experiences, we all can have different meaningful key takeaways from any story. We interpret the stories we read in a way that resonates with us and gives us a lesson to learn, encourages to look deeper into the philosophy of the story and bring out parallels with our own life. This is always the exciting part - what will you learn, how will this particular story make you reevaluate your decisions and actions, what will you be able to relate to?
These are the highlights for me from this kind, generous, uplifting and at the same time heart-breaking story:
CREATING YOUR OWN CULTURE
“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. Create your own.”
Even knowing that his body would give up soon and the simplest daily habits and actions would have to be carried out by the help of someone else, Morrie didn't give into self-pity. He considered himself lucky because he was surrounded by loving and caring souls and had lived his life happily.
If the culture doesn't work for you - create your own. This is so true and can be addressed to so many areas of our lives. Morrie is an example and developed his own culture, discussion groups, read books to find new ideas, kept in touch with people, spent time in the nature instead of wasting time in front of the TV.
That's the beauty of life - we get to choose what we want to let go of and what we want more of in our lives. This comes to the things we buy and use, people that we have in our lives and how we spend our days. We have a FULL control over it and we have to treat it like our own responsibility. If something doesn't work for you - don't buy it, don't waste your time on it. Fill your life with conversations, interactions and connections that bring value, happiness and inspiration into your life.
It's also so easy to get sucked into the vicious cycle of comparison when you are not in control of your own life and your own choices. When you are excited, happy with the people around you and planning exciting projects, you can't help but be busy working on your own grass instead of noticing that someone else's grass is greener :)
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things.”
So here is some food for thought and a question to answer to yourself - are you living a meaningful life and are you chasing things that are truly important?
Don't let yourself get so lost in the “busy” trap that you loose clarity on what happiness and fulfilled life means to you. This must be the biggest highlight for me personally, because who we spend time with, what information we surround ourselves with and things that we focus on are the biggest determinants on whether we're living a happy life or not.
GIVING MEANS LIVING
“You know what really gives you satisfaction? Offering others what you have to give. Your time. Your concern. Your storytelling.”
Morrie's thought on “brainwashing” is so true. We are told to own more, use more. More is good. This could really lead one to being so confused on what the true and important values are. Morrie suggests that giving to people is what gives the biggest satisfaction - “devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning”.
Giving to other people is what makes us feel alive. Whether it's our undistracted attention and time for conversations with our friends and loved ones or our full support, genuine advice and understanding. Being there for someone else.
When I think about the last time I was truly happy and something that has given me satisfaction, it definitely involves giving to others. Doing things that come from my heart, with the best and most selfless intentions. Whether it's a day out with a friend who needs someone to listen to them and giving my honest advice or receiving an e-mail from you guys saying how much one of our diaries has inspired you to work on the best version of yourselves. This was my way of giving and sharing with others. And creating that positive emotion into someone is priceless.
“When I give my time, when I can make someone smile after they were feeling sad, it's as close to healthy as I ever feel.”
If you need a little perspective, that's not preaching, but instead thought-provoking - this book definitely deserves to be on your bookshelf. It's a beautiful story for everyone with an open heart and in need for a little outside reminder of the true values in life. It's a heart-warming tribute to a loved mentor and I'm happy that Morrie got to teach the final “course” of this life and that his wish came true - to touch so many people's lives, to give to others. He keeps on living just like he wanted to :)
P.S. This is our first book discussion and just a little reminder that after our 3rd discussion we'll be hosting a big giveaway for those who are a part of the book club and have left their thoughts in the comments for each discussion (please make sure to also leave your Insta account in the comments).
Thank you so much for being here and for being a part of the Dear Diary Book Club. We're so excited to get to know you better, learn from your lessons and inspire each other. Please leave a comment on your thoughts, highlights, lessons from this book, as well as leave a note in the comments of your suggestion on April's book choices :) We're looking forward to chatting with you in the comments.
With Much Love,
Zane & the Dear Diary team