"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and how to let it come in".
The 2nd Tuesday: We Talk About Feeling Sorry for Yourself
"Sometimes in the mornings"... “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.”
After the death of his uncle, Mitch feels as if he needs to spend his time better. After failing as a musician, Mitch becomes a journalist for a sports magazine. While making a lot of money, he feels unsatisfied. That all changes one day after he sees an interview on TV of his old college professor, now suffering from ALS.
The 3rd Tuesday: We Talk About Regret
“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?”
Mitch calls Morrie and the two then meet up, choosing to keep meeting every Tuesday. On the first meeting, Mitch brings Morrie some food that the two eat. During this first meeting, Morrie talks about how he's becoming more dependent due to his disease. He then talks about how he saw people suffering on TV and empathizes with them.
After Mitch notices Morrie's condition worsening, he asks Morrie if he feels sorry for himself, which he does, to the point of needing an aid for most tasks. During his stay, Mitch reads a newspaper covering murders, and this leads him to realize his time with Morrie is running out. Mitch then remembers a trust fall experiment from Morrie's class, and one student who catches another.
The 4th Tuesday: We Talk About Death
On this Tuesday, Mitch brings a tape recorder. While hesitant to record their conversations, Morrie insists he does. On this day, the two talk about how our culture doesn't want us to think about death or our regrets until we are close to dying. He also says how people need to look at the big picture of life and ask if its what someone wants.
Morrie didn't have a good childhood. His mother died when he was 8 years old. His Dad, Charlie, was an immigrant who could barely speak English and was trouble securing a job, leaving the family poor. During this time period, Morrie's brother had gotten sick with polio, and Morrie would go to a synagogue everyday to pray for him. Eventually, his Dad remarried to a woman named Eva, who provided the brothers the affection they never got from Charlie. Eventually, Charlie made Morrie try to get a job at a fur factory, which he hated and vowed to become a teacher after his stepmom.
On this Tuesday, the two talk about everyone dies but no one wants to believe it. Morrie wants Mitch to realize the imminence of death, using the Buddhist idea of asking a bird on your shoulder if its time to die as an example. At the end, he tells Mitch to work on "spiritual things".