Brainwashing

I could quote a lot of Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom, but this is the only snippet I’ll duplicate. It’s worth the read.  I was thinking of reading it to the boys, but I think I’ll wait.  Zach started thinking he had diabetes when we were learning about the immune system.  I don’t want him thinking he has ALS.  

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. Ownging 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.

“Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. ‘Guess what I got? Guess what I got?’

“You know how I always interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. 

“Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness.  I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.”

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4 Responses to Brainwashing

  1. Andrea says:

    A book I had recommended to me yesterday (which I had never heard of before) is Holes, and from the description, it might fit into this theme quite well, yet be more suitable for children. It is by Louis Sacher… if you read it (or have read it) I would love to hear what you have to say about it!

  2. Andrea says:

    Sorry, was way too fast: this sounds like a book I would really appreciate and thank you for this review (I almost wrote: I want this book, I want this book, I want this book… but it is not like I am brainwashed. Just sayin’!)

  3. Joanna says:

    Angela,
    I loved this book. I love all of Mitch Albom’s novels though!! Have you read ‘The 5 People You Meet in Heaven’? Or ‘One More Day’? They are both very good. 🙂

  4. I grew up as a teen-ager reading Mitch Albom daily and loved his work tremendously. He always ran a huge long feature story in the Sunday paper.

    As a teen in Michigan as a high-school newspaper editor I had a chance to have a lunch with him in Detroit. He was incredibly nice, open and honest with us. Eventhough he was labeled a “sports writer” we never discussed sports at all. He talked about responsibilty and integrity.

    This would have been 1988…years before this book came to print.

    It is a very warm and sad story all at the same time.

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