Prior to meeting Morrie many years after college graduation, Mitch Albom was an ambitious and career-oriented man who has yearned for power and financial security. His value for material wealth led him to give up his dream of becoming a musician. He chose to be a journalist reporting on sporting events and chasing down celebrities. However, life seems empty for Mitch who has given priority to money and not love. His reunion and weekly visit with his favorite professor Morrie Schwartz, was his way of trying to regain some sense of the man that he would like to be and to restore meaning to his life. Mitch could not break from the norms of culture. He has lived the life of the young and successful professional who is too engrossed with work to think of anything else. He was advised by Morrie to live as a man who is fully human, one who creates his culture in which love is the first priority and money is the last. He needs to be kind, compassionate and accepting of others and of himself. This also means not to suppress his urge to love because love is essential for fulfillment and happiness. The self-created culture that must be embraced should be founded on love, civility, and understanding.
Mitch initial step in creating his own loving, accepting and forgiving culture was manifested when he decided not to buy a mobile phone on his second visit to Morrie. He overcame his discomfort with display of physical affection each time he comfortably held Morrie’s hand as they converse. He became open in his expression of love towards those he cares about. He also dedicated his time to love, family and friends when he tried to reestablish a relationship with Peter, his brother who is living in Spain and seeking treatment for his pancreatic cancer. Towards the last days of Morrie, Mitch sheds his embarrassment at Morrie’s physical shortcomings by taking lessons from the physical therapist on how to free the deadly poison from Morrie’s lungs. Instead of watching Morrie’s aides, he became involve in his professor’s daily routine. The weekly life lessons from Morrie was a life changing experience that made him realized what he has missed and what he must change in his life. Mitch learned that since death is inevitable, he must appreciate and value what he can have in life and use every moment of time to do something that he will not regret when he is gone.