Some Literary Inspiration

A Green Line train on Boston's T, the oldest Subway in the U.S.

Yesterday you got a sample of what I’ve been listening to on my daily commute on the T, and today you’ll get a taste of what I’m reading.  Apparently spending my mornings crammed into an outdated subway car where the air conditioning only sometimes works is providing excellent fodder for this blog.

This week, I’m reading Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.  This book, which, I swiped off my sister’s bookshelf, is one of those classics that, for some reason, never made it onto the syllabus of any of my high school English classes.  It brands itself as “the runaway bestseller that changed millions of lives.”  That’s quite the tagline.

For those of you who haven’t read it, the book tells the story of a sports journalist reconnecting with his old college professor.  The professor, Morrie Schwartz, is suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and shares his unique perspective (and incredibly positive outlook) on some of life’s biggest questions and challenges, as his own life comes to a painful close.

The whole book was inspiring, but two particular passages stood out for me, and I am going to strive to remember them and hold them in my heart on the days that I am feeling sorry for myself, or scared about the future.  Put in the context of this story, the fact that I don’t have a permanent job yet, that the majority of my friends no longer live near me but instead are scattered across the country, or that the person standing next to me on the T keeps stepping on my toes, just doesn’t seem to matter as much.  These two quotes gave me hope that someday, I’ll figure it all out; or at least figure out as much as I need to to get by!  So I thought I’d share them with you, and hopefully you’ll find some inspiration, too:

It’s very simple.  As you grow, you learn more.  If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two.”–Morrie Schwartz (p.118)

Remember what I said about finding a meaningful life?  I wrote it down, but now I can recite it: Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”–Morrie Schwartz (pg. 127)


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