Mitch Albom quotes page 2
"People are only mean when they're threatened," he said later that day, "and that's what
culture does. That's what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are
threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start
looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture."
Accept who you are; and revel in it.
"I heard a nice little story the other day," Morrie says. He closes his eyes for a moment and I
"Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time.
He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air - until he notices the other waves in front of him,
crushing against the shore."
"My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"
"Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him,
"Why do you look so sad?"
The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are
going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?"
The second wave says, "No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the
Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.
"Everyone knows they're going to die," he said again, "but nobody believes it. If we did, we
would do things differently."
Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to
"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."
"Look, Lord, I've done X amount of good stuff on earth. I have tried to follow your teachings
and to pass them on. I have loved my family. I've been part of a community. And I have
been, I think, fairly good to people. So, Heavenly Father, for all this, what is my reward? And
what do you think God will say?" He smiled. "He'll say 'Reward? What reward? That's what you
were supposed to do!'"
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.
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
Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote
yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.
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.
All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the
prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods
completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.
Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Don't wait.
There is no experience like having children. There is no substitute for it. You cannot do it
with a friend. You cannot do it with a lover. If you want the experience of having complete
responsibility for another human being, and to learn how to love and bond in the deepest
way, then you should have children.
Every life has one true love snapshot.
Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just
passing it on to someone else.
There is no formula to relationships. They have to be negotiated in loving ways, with room for
both parties, what they want and what they need, what they can do and what their life is
When someone is in your heart, they're never truly gone. They can come back to you, even
at unlikely times.
Young men go to war. Sometimes because they are have to, sometimes because they want
to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life,
which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice
confused with laying them down.
The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.
Here's what I mean by building your own subculture. I don't mean you disregard every rule of
your community. I don't go around naked, for example. I don't run through red lights. The
little things, I can obey. But the big things - how we think, what we value - those you must
choose for yourself. You can't let anyone - or any society - determine those for you.
Am I going to withdraw from the world, like most people do, or am I going to live? I decided
I'm going to live - or at least try to live - the way I want, with dignity, with courage, with
humor, with composure.
"You have peace," the old woman said, "when you make it with yourself."
There is everything you know and there is everything that happens. When the two do not
line up, you make a choice.
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