Less with Ego, More with Heart

written and submitted by Michael Grossman April 26, 2022

I first read Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie many years ago. I loved the way the gentle book reached my heart and challenged me to try to live a little bit more like Morrie Schwartz. I do not recollect any major personal life changes which ensued. At that time.

Roughly four years ago I found myself at a party, at a snack table (my favourite "hiding place" at parties) next to Stephanie Kress. Conversation moved from guacamole dip to Stephanie's desire to one day direct Tuesdays with Morrie. I didn't know that there WAS a play. She said that she could picture Me as Her Morrie. I was flattered.

In the summer of 2019 Stephanie told me that she was ready to dedicate her energy to the project. So, I purchased a copy of the play and read it. At first, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that the Play was ... Theatre. I read it again. Morrie Schwartz WAS in that play. AND I SO WANTED TO BE MORRIE SCHWARTZ! I started memorizing Morrie's lines that fall! I didn't yet have the part. It had not, in any way been promised to me. In fact, auditions for the play were almost two years away.

Morrie became more than lines in a book or a play. He pushed me to try to respond to others less with ego and more with heart. LESS WITH EGO, MORE WITH HEART! This simple aphorism may be mine - it may be Morrie's. I'm not certain. But I do know that it has strengthened my relationships with those most dear to me, particularly my dear Andrea.

While it is a joy to try to incorporate Morrie's teachings into my life and onto the stage it is a huge responsibility to respect (and despise) the pernicious disease that ultimately took his life, ALS. I therefore offer special thanks to:

Juan Reyes, a Texas Dad living with ALS. Veteran, husband, father friend and all-around nice guy, and

Elizabeth Ross, physiotherapist (and all-around nice person) for assisting in my portrayal of the disease.

Cranbrook Community Theatre presents Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, at the Studio Stage Door, Cranbrook April 29 & 30, May 1, 5-7, 11-14

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