The meaning of life

By Jaime Babiera

At first, I was hesitant to grab it from my bookshelf. A silly thought occurred to me that maybe it was more appropriate to read Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom on a Tuesday morning. But later on, I brushed off the idea and pulled myself together. I realized that, unlike Mitch and Morrie, I was definitely not a Tuesday person. Thus, I carried on and finally decided to devour the first part of the memoir on a quiet Saturday morning.

The author wrote in the first chapter that the subject matter of the book (or, in his words, “the last class he was going to attend with Morrie”) was about the meaning of life. As a young teen currently on a winding journey towards self-discovery, the said topic caught my interest. So I went on, one Tuesday after another. By Sunday, I finished reading the entire book. Yes. It only took me a day and a half to reach the epilogue because all of its 28 chapters were indeed page-turners. By that, I meant Morrie’s philosophical words were extremely relatable and certainly worth noting.

I’m well aware that there is a lot to discuss about the book. As you may already know, it offers countless valuable lessons on life in general, including family, money, forgiveness, emotions, and many more. However, I’m not planning to cover them all in this column. Instead, I want to emphasize one thing Tuesdays with Morrie engraved in my mind: “You don’t know how to live until you learn how to die.” I strongly agree with this statement. People constantly tell us that life is precious. It is considered a piece of customary advice that the elderly pass down to the young ones, generation after generation. But from a personal standpoint, I don’t think it means a lot to most of us in the springtime of our lives while our bodies are still thriving in their youthful strength and juvenile glow. More often than not, we only realize the value of our precious lives when our physiques grow older and weaker, our skins start to wither, our limbs become fragile, our health deteriorates as fast as lightning, and, ultimately, when basic human tasks suddenly feel substantially more taxing and laborious than they used to. That is the only time we bother asking ourselves: Why is life so precious?

Perhaps, it will take a while before one truly understands why life is precious. But just like Morrie reiterated multiple times in the book, we must not waste our limited time chasing the wrong things. Rather, we should “devote ourselves to loving others, devote ourselves to the community around us, and devote ourselves to creating something that gives us purpose and meaning.

Email: / X: @jaimebabiera