lessons of life no. 2896

It is my junior year, 1978, when disco and Rocky movies are the cultural rage. We are in an unusual sociology class at Brandeis, something Morrie calls “Group Process.” Each week we study the ways in which the students in the group interact with one another, how they respond to anger, jealousy, attention. We are human lab rats. More often than not, someone ends up crying. I refer to it as the “touchy-feely” course. Morrrie says i should be more open-minded.

On this day, Morrie says he has an exercise for us to try. We are to stand, facing away from our classmates, and fall backward, relying on another student to catch us. Most of us are uncomfortable with this, and we cannot let go for more than a few inches before stopping ourselves. we laugh in embarassment.

Finally, one student, a thin, quiet, dark-haired girl whom i notice almost always wears bulky fisherman sweaters crosses her arms over her chest, closes her eyes, leans back, and does not flinch, like on of those liption tea commercials where the model splashes into the pool.

For a moment, i am sure she is going to thump on the floor. At the last instant, her assigned partner grabs her head and shoulders and yanks her up harshly.

“Whoa!” several students yell. some clap.

Morrie finally smiles.

“You see,” he says to the girl, “you closed your eyes. That was the difference. 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 are in the dark. Even when you are falling.”

excerpt from tuesdays with morrie

lessons of life no. 2896

7 thoughts on “lessons of life no. 2896

  1. mayya says:

    hey I’m seriously considering Brandeis for grad school. Is it good enough? would you recommend it to a complete desi?

  2. mayya says:

    oooooooooooooops my bad! I apologize, I just read one phrase and assumed you had gone to Brandeis 🙂
    I’m terribly sorry
    *ears turn red*

  3. jammie says:

    love it. the trust fall. have always picked up this book to buy then put it back- somehow. maybe i should read it now.

  4. insiya says:

    i have seen the exact excerise being shown on tv sometime…

    – having just finished reading ‘a million little pieces’ which was fabricated and following up the story of the harvard kid who literally copy pasted works of other authors- trusting authors is becoming such a tough job!

    ironic na? 🙂

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