Study Guide

Tuesdays With Morrie Chapter 17

By Mitch Albom

Chapter 17

The Seventh Tuesday: We Talk About the Fear of Aging

  • Morrie accepts ultimate defeat because he now has to have someone help him go to the bathroom.
  • He admits that it takes getting used to, but looks at it, as always, from a positive place. He says that because he's independent he doesn't like having people take care of him, but it's culture that tells him to be uncomfortable with it, so he decides to forget about what's normal and just go with it.
  • Morrie even says it's not so bad because it's kind of like being a kid again.
  • On the ride to Morrie's, Mitch notices that all the ads feature young people; it's making him feel a bit old.
  • Morrie says he doesn't buy into the idea of youth being wonderful because he remembers how tough it actually is to be young.
  • One of the worst things about being young is not having any wisdom. Young people are clueless (no offense, youths).
  • So here's another positive idea: Aging is growth rather than decay.
  • People who wish they were younger are people who have unhappy lives and haven't gotten any wiser.
  • Mitch kind of isn't buying it, though, and he asks Morrie how, in his present state, he doesn't envy young people.
  • Morrie says that he does envy their physical state, but he reminds Mitch about the detachment theory.
  • The heart of the matter is to be content with where you are; if you can't totally accept yourself you get competitive.
  • He closes with a down-to-earth question: "How can I be envious of where you are—when I've been there myself?" (17.51). Real talk, yo.