Seeking Joy


Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

I love Mitch Albom’s non-fiction novel about Morrie, Tuesdays with Morrie, as well as Jack Lemmon’s portrayal of Morrie in the film. Morrie was a professor and a dying ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) patient, who, was persistent and loving as a mentor each Tuesday. The wisdom conveyed in word and film is a passion for the dance of life, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a joy in the little things, a plea to slow down and a deep well of love for others.

At its heart it is largely a Biblical perspective. Though, I don’t know if Morrie thought of it that way.

In part it is being slow to anger and quick to laugh, particularly at yourself. Despite the losses of age, seeking that perspective, and God knows there are times it has been a losing effort, has made my seven plus years of retirement precious.

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“A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.” Jessamyn West, renowned 20th century, American author.

Thirty Two years ago some functional soft tissue broke in my left calf while playing tennis. I limped noticeably.

It required a few weeks to heal and my only experience with crutches. I needed no operation, just rehabilitation.

Had I broken something much harder, it would have healed more quickly per my surgeon. In other words a broken bone would have been a better deal.

But immeasurably worse for most homo sapiens are the wrong words spoken by a “trusted parent” I suspect a huge portion of the American population have heard such words given the high amount of psychotropic drugs swallowed daily and the busyness of most American shrinks.

A parent shrinks a child’s self worth with the wrong words and as an adult he or she ends up seeing one. So much for our shrinking, scary, scandalous, but, often, beautiful world.