Little sidenote: I didn’t post here yesterday because I actually posted on Reddit, instead. It kind of blew up there, so I feel obligated to post the link here.
I started a book yesterday morning. I finished it yesterday night, and gave it to my girlfriend. I made her swear to begin the book last night — doubtful — before I gave it to her.
The book was Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I cried through the whole book.
It’s the story of a college professor who contracts ALS, a disease that progressively destroys nerves in the brain and spinal chord. The disease moves up Morrie’s body from the legs, and he gradually loses control of everything.
One of his close former students, Mitch, goes to visit him every Tuesday as Morrie’s body gradually degenerates. They have conversations about life. And the shocking part is Morrie is still as old, sweet, and kind as ever. He faces his impending death with a serene grace. He is a light in the face of a condition that could easily turn someone cold and bitter.
I cried through the whole book. And I almost stopped because it was so painful to read.
But if I had, I wouldn’t have felt the compassion and sadness that came out of it. I wouldn’t have texted my family I loved them. And when my girlfriend came over the other night, I probably wouldn’t have given her a massage or carried her to my room from her car.
There’s a funny contradiction — most people think strength is weakness, and weakness is strength. Being strong and unfeeling is how you don’t get hurt. Being open, crying, and showing compassion is weak.
You can play power games with your friends and loved ones. You can focus on possessions and yourself.
But you will be unfulfilled through it. And when you’re gone, no one will remember the games you “won.”
But you’re loved ones will remember you. And those you loved with your heart, they will remember you.
It’s the only thing that’s important.