The philosophies of and ideas on life of Morrie Schwartz are detailed in Mitch AlbomÆs (1997) account of SchwartzÆ final years of life, Tuesdays with Morrie. In this book, Albom relates his interaction with Schwartz, stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a series of discussions held on Tuesdays. Albom (1997, p. 9) likens the fatal neurological disease, better known as Lou GehrigÆs disease, and its impact to ôa lit candle: it melts your nerves and leaves your body a pile of wax.ö Despite the debilitating impact of the disease on Schwartz, he refuses to give in to despair and instead shares his lessons of living well with Albom. In so doing, we are presented with SchwartzÆ philosophical and courageous confrontation with death, one that illustrates that dying is not to be feared so much as improperly living.
Albom, a former student of SchwartzÆ, returns to his mentor he calls ôcoachö each Tuesdays for philosophical discussions of life, love, family, wealth and a number of other issues that impact all of our lives. In doing so, Albom (1997) initially believes his beloved teacher and mentor deserves sympathy and compassion but Schwartz will have none of it. When confronted with his impending death, he informs Albom (1997, p. 82), who he refers to as ôplayer,ö of lifeÆs most important lesson: ôThe truth is Mitchàonce you learn how to die, you learn how to live.ö
In learning how to die, Schwartz conveys to Albom numerous lessons that add significant meaning and importance to living. Focusing on life not death, this book provides insight into SchwartzÆ views on everything from money to family. Schwartz informs Albom that if people would accept they are going to die and that they might die at any given moment of any given day, then they would lead fuller, more enriching lives that focused less on earning wealth and impressing others and more on developing meaning