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Late professor Morrie Schwartz's words are helping many embrace aging 'joyfully and creatively'

'He thought it could be helpful for other people to approach aging,' Morrie's son Rob Schwartz said of the book, 'Wisdom of Morrie.'

Late professor Morrie Schwartz's words are helping many embrace aging 'joyfully and creatively'
Cover Image Source: Youtube | ABC News

Around the world, life expectancy has increased by more than 6 years between 2000 and 2019 – from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2019, according to the World Health Organization. It has also increased discussions around aging. In a new book on aging that features the words of Morrie Schwartz, a Brandeis professor who died in 1995 after battling ALS. The book has been called a "profound, poetic, and poignant masterpiece of living and aging joyfully and creatively," reported PEOPLE.



Rob, Morrie's youngest son, took up the task of completing the book after finding his father's manuscript in a drawer following his death, according to ABC News. "I just hear my father's voice in this book," Rob said in an interview with Good Morning America. "It's so filled with his love of life, and his love of people, and his connection to humanity."



The book is a "deep dive" into Morrie's views about aging and "how we can improve our lives," Rob told GMA. "My father wrote this book aimed at aging people because he felt that our society was so ageist and that people had internalized these negative emotions about aging, and then he outlines real, practical, day-to-day things which people can do to improve their lives," he continued.



"He thought it could be helpful for other people to approach aging and just in general, living creatively, vibrantly, and joyously," Rob said. Rob Schwartz said that, for example, "laughter" was very important to his father. "Laughter is incredibly important. You need to have laughter in your life. Find what makes you laugh and indulge in that," he said.



Rob also said that Morrie began to write the book in 1988 and wrote it till 1992. Afterward, Morrie was also seen on ABC's Nightline and he also shed light on his life with the deadly disease, according to ABC News. "This culture is so stuck on death, in terms of its fear, hiding it, not knowing what to do with it, that what I'm saying is, is there an alternative way of looking at it?" Schwartz said in one of the 1995 interviews. "To the very end, the disease is not going to get my spirit. ... It will get my body. It will not get my spirit," Schwartz told "Nightline" in the fall of 1995.



During this time, Mitch Albom, a former student, watched these interviews and he began meeting weekly with Morrie until he died in November 1995, ABC News reports. Albom's memoir on his former professor, "Tuesdays with Morrie," was published in 1997 and became a best-seller. It was also adapted for television with a film that starred Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria.



Now, we will have a deeper insight into Morrie's thoughts about living while aging and dying, thanks to some help from his youngest son. "We all have a shared humanity that is the crucial thing you need to connect with", Rob told GMA.

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