“We’ve got a form 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 this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.”
Mitch, if you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at 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.
His legs needed constant tending (he could still feel pain, even though he could not move them another one of ALS’s cruel little ironies), and unless his feet dangled just the right number of inches off the foam pads, it felt as if someone were poking him with a fork. In the middle of conversations, Morrie would have to ask visitors to lift his foot and move it just an inch, or to adjust his head so that it fit more easily into the palm of the colored pillows. Can you imagine being unable to move your own head?
He was always ready to display the emotions so often missing from my baby boomer generation. We are great at small talk. . . . But really listening to someone—without trying to sell them something, pick them up, recruit them, or get some kind of status in return—how often do we get this anymore? I believe many visitors in the last few months of Morrie’s life were drawn not because of the attention they wanted to pay to him but because of the attention he paid to them.