By JOSEPH TINTLE
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and Life without Limits by Nick Vujicic are two of the most inspirational books today. Each tells the story about a man who has to overcome immense physical and emotional challenges by digging deep down to find a positive reason to live life to the fullest. The books differ, however, in their scope. Tuesdays with Morrie covers myriad themes about life while Vujicic’s literary effort is chiefly a call for accepting the life dealt us then maintaining a positive attitude the rest of the way.
In Tuesdays with Morrie, college professor Morrie Schwartz learns that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at age 77. His body will be reduced to a lump of putty and he will require others to take care of his every need. His biggest fear, he admits, is that “someday somebody’s going to have to wipe my ass.” Morrie can no longer teach, dance or be the supportive husband he once was. His disease will kill him within two years and he must learn to adapt to his new existence yet keep a positive frame of mind. He does so by forging new friendships and teaching people how to live through his writings and televised interviews.
Life without Limits is the story of Nick Vujicic, an Austrailian who was born 31 years ago withouts legs and arms and has since overcome — to a major degree — his tetra amelia syndrome. Vujicic’s condition, however, brought on deep depression, rage. and the belief that he was doomed to the loneliest of existences because he could not imagine any woman would have him as a husband. However, he eventually marries and now has a family.
While each book tells the story of incredible men under incredible circumstances, they do differ significantly. Tuesdays with Morrie touches on myriad topics as Morrie tries to give readers a heads-up on what a life well lived ought to be. Life without Limits, meanwhile, explores fewer life themes, but does so in more depth.
Mitch Albom, a Detroit sportswriter and a former college student of Schwartz, asks his old professor if he’d consider writing a book about his final days. Morrie accepts the offer but insists the book’s focus not be about dying, but rather about living. Together they tackle countless themes: feeling sorry for oneself, regrets, death, family, emotions, aging, money, love, marriage, forgiveness and culture.
By contrast in Life without Limits, Vujicic concentrates on fewer themes about life, but delves into them on a more profound level, offering more detailed anecdotes. Along the way, Vujicic implores readers to accept life as it comes and just get on with it. He also advises young people to follow their hearts and stay clear of those who do not have their bests interests in mind.
Tuesdays with Morrie and Life without Limits are compelling reads for those who are looking for inspirational books. Given a choice, it might be difficult to select just one.