TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE
The book “Tuesdays with Morrie”, is about the narrator Mitch Albom who reunited with his favourite professor Morrie Schwartz who has been his mentor in college. When Mitch met Morrie in the second phase of his life, he discovered he has ALS – or motor neurone disease. After realising the kind of life he has been running after, Mitch started visiting his old mentor every Tuesday in order to attend Morrie’s lessons on “The Meaning of Life.” Morrie told Mitch to approach life in a new way and told him to lead a life that is not superficial, self-centered, or based on gluttony. The change in outlook that he gained in his session with Morrie every Tuesday, made him determined to publish a book so that he could share with the world the great teachings of his favourite professor. “Tuesdays with Morrie” is much more than a professor’s teachings; it is an inspiring narration of a person whose zeal for the human spirit outlived his life. The book can be segregated into 2 parts. One delves into the chronicle of a man suffering from a disease. The second part deals with a professor in social psychology, who believes that the intricacies of life can be deciphered into simple truths. The book is a real-life account of how to rediscover oneself according to Professor Morrie. (Albom, 2002) It brings out the essence of life against the backdrop of death.
One particular event in the book touched me and made me think about the actual meaning of our life. Mitch is a person who believes in working hard and chasing his dreams. Anyone belonging to today’s fast era will relate to his character, including me. However, after reconnecting with Morrie in the second phase of life, he started questioning this attitude toward life. (Albom, 2002) We tend to waste precious years of our life running after money and career, often forgetting the small moments in our life which makes our living worthwhile. We stop appreciating the pleasures of life by not cherishing these moments. (Regina da Luz et al., 2015) By conforming to the standards set by society, we get entangled in a superficial life, which has no meaning. I often realize that I am chasing the wrong things in life. For instance, as a nurse one is only supposed to care for the patient and ease of his physical pain. However, many times the patient requires much more than just physical care, such as giving moral support and empathizing with their internal sorrow. Nursing as a profession has become a superficial one, which is devoid of any human emotions. (Marcinowicz, Owlasiuk, Slusarska, Zarzycka, &Pawlikowska, 2016) Reading this book has made me realize that my calling in life is towards humanity as well and to gratify myself by giving the patient emotional support along with physical care.
Another incident that deeply affected me was the fact that Morrie as a child was told by his father to conceal the fact about his mother’s death, so that his brother David takes Eva, their stepmother, as their own biological mother. This was a heavy emotional burden on Morrie. (Albom, 2002) In the nursing career, one often comes across such ethical dilemmas. Families often hold back the truth in order to “protect” the patient from further stress or prevent them from becoming depressed. For a nurse, this is an ethical dilemma, since the patient has the right to know about his / her condition. (McSteen & Peden-McAlpine, 2006) This creates emotional distress for them as they are torn between their duty and ethical obligation. Further, it is not correct to hide any sort of information from the patient regarding these conditions, as he has all the right to know about his treatment.
As Morrie went closer to his death, his body started shrinking. Mitch noticed these changes and used to comfort him by holding his hands. Morrie enjoyed this physical closeness, as he needed stronger affection than ever before. (Albom, 2002) Many times the nurses feel the urge to provide care greater than physical care and assure the patient that everything will be all right. (Ulrich et al., 2010) The emotional involvement the nurses develops is often despised by the hospital or management. With the advent of corporatizing the hospital industry, the management expects the nurses to just stick to their duty and not go beyond what is their professional obligations. However, in these scenarios, the nurses are at the receiving end, as they tend to be torn between their professional commitment and their ethical values.
The book has particularly motivated me to understand the true meaning of life and what we should seek in our life. Life is not only about running after materialistic things but also to cherish the small moments it gives us to cherish. I am determined to listen to my inner soul while imparting my duties as a nurse assistant, and go beyond my call and give the patients comforting care. I would empathize with them and take a decision to keep their well-being inconsideration and not merely about the profit avenues of the management. I would also take a call based on my ethical principles and not get swayed away from what the family of the patient expects me to do. I hope with these learnings from the book, I become a better person and abide by my duty as a nurse assistant along with humanity.
Albom, M. (2002). Tuesdays with Morrie (10th ed.). New York: Broadway Books.
Marcinowicz, L., Owlasiuk, A., Slusarska, B., Zarzycka, D., &Pawlikowska, T. (2016). Choice and perception of the nursing profession from the perspective of Polish nursing students: a focus group study. BMC Medical Education, 16(1).
McSteen, K. & Peden-McAlpine, C. (2006). The Role of the Nurse as Advocate in Ethically Difficult Care Situations With Dying Patients. Journal Of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 8(5), 259-269.
Regina da Luz, K., Oliveira Vargas, M., Martins da Rosa, L., Tomaschewski-Barlem, J., Devos Barlem, E., & Henrique Schmidtt, P. (2015). Ethical problems experienced by oncology nurses. Revista Latino-Americana De Enfermagem, 23(6), 1187–1194.
Ulrich, C., Taylor, C., Soeken, K., O’Donnell, P., Farrar, A., Danis, M., & Grady, C. (2010). Everyday ethics: ethical issues and stress in nursing practice. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 66(11), 2510-2519. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05425.x