In the book Tuesdays with Morrie, Albom Mitch constructs the narrative around a college student and his professor who is dying away with the passage of time after being diagnosed with ALS. Not being a student anymore, Mitch feels guilty for forgetting on his promise to meet Morrie occasionally. When Morrie appears on a television show, Mitch is reluctant to waste any more time and decides to pay his teacher a visit. Both Morrie and Mitch agree to meet on Tuesdays in which they talk on various topics ranging from politics, life, love and marriage. One aspect that Morrie continually talks about is the life of a college student who is carefree and wastes his time on looking for the meaning of life. The element to be explored while analyzing Mitch’s novel is to prove that the college students of today have a different experience than the college students of the 1960’s.
One thing that is clear is that the current young generation leads a life that is way different than the life of the college students in the 1960’s. The advancement in technology has turned the teenagers into mindless zombies and their eyes are glued to their gadgets. The amount of time that the young ones spend staring at their screens is more than the time they spend in studying or in spending time with family. With the progress in technology, life has become difficult and full of hurdles for people of all ages. College-going students do not have time to spare as they are all competing against one another in getting better grades. The competition has led these students to isolate themselves from their surroundings and to give all their time to their studies. Morrie asserts that the culture that we live in currently is to be blamed for the way the modern generation is treating life. The following lines taken from the text show this assertion by Morrie,
“Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.” (Albom)
To say that a college student’s life lacks emotional, cultural and meaningful experience is true to an extent as the students are shown to be absorbed in their work and have little to no time to spend with family and friends. The competition for better grades and the college standards has devoid the students from any experience that could help them in their development. For any student to achieve success, he or she needs to believe in his or her capabilities. The following lines assert Morrie’s claim regarding capabilities,
“Accept what you can and what you are not able to do” (Albom)
Morrie believes that if a person accepts what their real strengths are then everything becomes easy immediately. He stands accurate in his assertion because as long as one does not believe in themselves, they cannot change the course of their life and cannot hope to gain any achievement. College students of the present time are of the view that getting good grades is the only thing that they should worry themselves about. However, that is not true as there is more to life than education. Chasing such goals can make life meaningless as there are so many things that a person can involve themselves with besides schooling. The following lines go by this point as Morrie says,
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things” (Albom)
It has become a common trait for the modern world to search for some meaning in their lives. This search leads them into believing that life is meaningless till they find the actual purpose for them to be in this world. However, that is not true as an individual can find meaning in the smallest of things if one so wishes. Having a purpose does not include getting a college degree and then going for further studies or getting a job. On the contrary, it means that a person accepts that his or her life will become meaningful if he or she puts effort into appreciating the things that are present in the surrounding. As Morrie says in the novel,
“‘Part of the problem, Mitch, is that everyone is in such a hurry,’ Morrie said. ‘People haven’t found meaning in their lives, so they’re running all the time looking for it.’” (Albom)
In conclusion, it can be said that the complicated routine of college life has kept the students from having a spare moment for themselves. The absorption in books only for the sake of achieving the highest cgpa has prevented the students from being a part of social and cultural events. Students nowadays, do not involve themselves in extracurricular activities in fear of wasting time when they could be spending that time studying. They believe that their life will be meaningless if they did not achieve their goals, all of which are related to completing their education. Morrie asserts in the novel that it is essential for people to spend as much time appreciating the things around them as they can because once a person finds out that they are going to die, it can weigh down the person and make life difficult.
Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson. Hachette UK, 2009.