“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. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
“Accept who you are; and revel in it.”
“You see, you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too--even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.”
“If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely.”
“I like myself better when I'm with you.”
“Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match...Which side win? Love wins. Love always wins”
“Don't let go too soon, but don't hold on too long.”
“Don't cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
“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.”
“there are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don't have a common set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike.' - Morrie Schwartz”
“I give myself a good cry if I need it, but then I concentrate on all good things still in my life.”
“This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It's knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.”
“If you're trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down on you anyhow. And if you're trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.”
“We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore.
Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?'
You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”
“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do somehing else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn't. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.”
“Everyone knows they re going to die,' he said again, 'but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.”
“Be compassionate," Morrie whispered. And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place."
He took a breath, then added his mantra: "Love each other or die.”
“Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
“As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty-two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.”
“People are only mean when they are threatened.”
“I thought about all the people I knew who spent many of their waking hours feeling sorry for themselves. How useful it would be to put a daily limit on self-pity. Just a few tearful minutes, then on with the day.”
“There is no such thing as 'too late' in life.”
“I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on the good things still in my life. I don't allow myself any more self-pity than that. A little each every morning, a few tears, and that's all.”
“Don't cling to things, because everything is impermanent... But detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you.
On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it...You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief... But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.You know what pain is. You know what love is. "All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.”
“The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a three-year-old, I’m a five-year-old, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old, I’m a fifty-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own.”
“The truth is, when our mothers held us, rocked us, stroked our heads -none of us ever got enough of that. We all yearn in some way to return to those days when we were completely taken care of - unconditional love, unconditional attention. Most of us didn't get enough.”
“We are all descended from monsters.”
“Like many weak men, he made a great ceremony of personal strength and power.”
“The surest way to minimize your own burdens is to carry someone else's.”
“When in doubt, just take the next small step”
“Mischa, we take comfort in knowing there is no God. That you are not enslaved in Heaven, made to kiss God’s ass forever. What you have is better than Paradise. You have blessed oblivion. I miss you every day.”
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