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Platitudes from Morrie,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Tuesdays with Morrie is the tale of a "dying man talking to a living man, telling him what he should know." It's a compendium of one man's life's lessons, dispensed by the sainted Morrie in his effort to "walk that final bridge between life and death and narrate the trip."
My question is this--is Morrie's advice of any real value? Are his utterances practicable to the point that Mr. Albom has the right to pass them off as gospel? Is Morrie's message, just because it's right for him, necessarily right for the rest of mankind? If not, then it's presumptuous and pushy for Morrie's disciple to attempt to foist ideas about how to live on the rest of us.
In America, self-improvement instruction has long been the publisher's cash cow. It's notoriously profitable. People want to be told how to live. Consequently, there's always someone like Mitch around to provide a map of the road to happiness, to show us the ropes of life, to provide the keys to fulfillment and self-actualization. "Tuesdays With Morrie" is one more bag of balm in a smarmy genre that won't go away. What makes Morrie a little different is that the central character lives and breathes, and, to make matters more heart-rending, we're permitted to accompany him on his journey to the Valley of Death. It's the perfect setup. Dying man's words reek of authenticity; author uses them to bathe the reader in his own shame. The result? Catharsis! Albom is saying, look, here's a guy who's dying. Instead of crying in his beer and fearfully living out his last days in self-pity, he's willing to give everything to teach you barbarians the real lessons of life. And what are you doing? Living your lives in the same shallow, unfocused, materialistic way you always have. It's shameful. C'mon, get with the program. Listen to Morrie. Live as if today were your last. Do unto others. Can't buy me love. Stop and smell the roses. Love one another. Make a commitment. All you need is love.
Of course these are good lessons, and of course they can provide meaning and purpose in our lives, but the book itself (like most self-help books) is something of a sham. It's essentially a re-packaging of things we already know or things we've heard over and over, from every do-gooder from Roy Rogers to Mr. Rogers. And if we don't believe them now we're not going to learn them just because a dying man in a twenty dollar book whispers them to us through a wet hankie, no matter how sincerely they're uttered. If we one day choose to apply these lessons, we will have to learn them first--through hard knocks, personal discovery and, as Morrie did, through personal suffering--not via the transparent artifices of a maudlin, poorly written best seller.
One can admire the selfless character of Morrie Schwartz. He's humane. He sets a good example. He fights the good fight and does his best under trying circumstances. He appears to care more for others than he does for himself. And I have no quarrel with the bromides his devoted apprentice is selling. Most likely the world would be a better place if we all could find it in our hearts to live by Morrie's code. And perhaps we'd all be happier. But it is Albom's presumption that, like him, we all need gather 'round to bask in the wisdom of Morrie the Master that raises my hair. May I please live my life myself? May I find life's meaning for myself? May I learn to feel the joy and pain of living on my own, instead of yielding up the pleasure of making life's discoveries to the Mitch and Morrie machine?
Truly, if Morrie's message and memory meant so much to Mr. Albom, he would have marketed his dead teacher's platitudes the way the Gideons market Bibles: voluminously, ubiquitously, and for FREE!