Morrie Schwartz, fully Morris "Morrie" S. Schwartz

Morrie
Schwartz, fully Morris "Morrie" S. Schwartz
1916
1995

American Sociology Professor at Brandeis University, subject of book and movie, 'Tuesdays With Morrie'

Author Quotes

That?s what we?re all looking for. A certain peace with the idea of dying. If we know, in the end, that we can ultimately have that peace with dying, then we can finally do the really hard thing. Which is? Make peace with living.

The best way to deal with that is to live in a fully conscious, compassionate, loving way. Don't wait until you're on your deathbed to recognize that this is the only way to live.

The little things, I can obey. But the big things - how we think, what we value - those you must choose yourself. You can't let anyone - or any society - determine those for you.

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.

The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

There are some mornings when I cry and cry and mourn for myself. Some mornings, I?m so angry and bitter. But it doesn?t last too long. Then I get up and say, ?I want to live . . .?

This is part of what family is about, not just love, but letting others know there?s someone who is watching out for them. Knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.

We have a sense that we should be like the mythical cowboy... able to take on and conquer anything and live in the world without the need for other people.

We're involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going.

Love is when you are as concerned about someone else?s situation as you are about your own.

We've got a form of brainwashing going on in our country?. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. MORE IS GOOD. MORE IS GOOD. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore.

Mitch, 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? 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.

What tipped the scales was that psychology involved working with rats.

MORRIE: And the biggest one of those values, Mitch? MITCH: Yes? MORRIE: Your belief in the importance of your marriage.

When you look at it that way, you can see how absurd it is that we individualize ourselves with our fences and hoarded possessions.

One day, I?m gonna show you it?s okay to cry.

Why not practice that greater awareness in your daily life now? We're involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going," he wrote. "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? ... Dying is only one thing to be sad over.... Living unhappily is something else.

One hundred and ten years from now no one who is here now will be alive.When you look at it that way, you can see how absurd it is that we individualize ourselves with our fences and hoarded possessions.

Without love, we are birds with broken wings.

People are only mean when they're threatened? 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.

You asked about caring for people I don?t even know. But can I tell you the thing I?m learning more with this disease? The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don?t deserve love, we think if we let it in we?ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levine said it right. He said, ?Love is the only rational act.? ?Love is the only rational act.?

Aging is not just decay, you know. It?s growth. It?s more than the negative that you?re going to die, it?s also the positive that you understand you?re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.You know what that reflects? Unsatisfied lives. Unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven?t found meaning. Because if you?ve found meaning in your life, you don?t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can?t wait until sixty-five.

I?ve got so many people who have been involved with me in close, intimate ways. And love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.

Because if you've found meaning in your life, you don't want to go back. You want to go forward.

Author Picture
First Name
Morrie
Last Name
Schwartz, fully Morris "Morrie" S. Schwartz
Birth Date
1916
Death Date
1995
Bio

American Sociology Professor at Brandeis University, subject of book and movie, 'Tuesdays With Morrie'