Tuesdays with Morrie can be a case study in examining American values. If we think with sociological mindfulness we can see how these values become a part of who we are and how we help to promote the values. Then, we can start to choose how and when the values influence us. This can help us prioritize our life. Here is a link to a story about priorities.
Death v. Materialism, Individualism
Are Americans afraid of death? Is death a taboo
topic? Why do you think this is the case? How might our feelings about
death be related to our materialism? I also think that our feelings
about death are rooted in our culture's individualism. See this post about the way our culture associates individualism with grieving one's death.
That is why I think most students would say the movie was a sad movie
(at least parts of it) even though those same students would admit that
Morrie doesn't want them to be sad. Morrie himself explains,"Don't be
so sad because I'm going to die Mitch...Death ends a life but not a
relationship..." And Morrie explains, I'll still love you and you'll
always love me.
Love v. Individualism, Materialism
Do you think that Americans are afraid to love
each other, or show that they love each other? If we are afraid to
love, why might that be? Does our culture socially construct our
reality so that we are afraid to love? What values in our culture might
make us feel this way? How can we overcome this? What is the
difference between the value of “romantic love” and real love - the love
Morrie talks about? I think these different types of love are related
to American values too. See this post for more on the idea of romantic love vs. real love. How is this a part of your life?