At the start of his senior year of college, Morrie had suggested to Mitch that he try an honors thesis. They discuss the possibility, and finally decide that Mitch will write a thesis on how America has adopted sports as a religion. By the spring, Mitch has completed the thesis, and Morrie congratulates him. He presents Mitch with the possibility of graduate school, which makes Mitch recognize that familiar "tension of opposites," as he wants to leave school, but is afraid to.
Mitch's gradual transformation of character, from a man driven by money to a man driven by love, is evident when he decides not to buy a cell phone on his second trip to visit Morrie. This is Mitch's first step towards creating his own loving, accepting, and forgiving culture. Morrie's self-created culture enables him to feel gratitude for his slow painful death, which, superficially, seems odd and outrageous. But given a deeper look, Morrie's gratitude is sensible. Unlike many others who have died, such as both of Morrie's parents, he has the opportunity to repent for the words and actions he regrets, and is able to express love and say goodbye to those he values most dearly in his dwindling life. Thus, Morrie does not feel lucky because he is suffering and will be martyred, but because he is aware of the little time he has left to do what he feels he needs to before it is too late.
Mitch, for a long time, is in denial that Morrie is even dying, and is only honest with himself about Morrie's impending departure when he helps him back into his chair and feels the "seeds of death inside of his shriveling frame" as he holds his limp body in his arms. The image of seeds and plants, like the pink hibiscus in Morrie's study, growing and dying as people do, recurs throughout the book. These "seeds of death" that Mitch feels are inside of Morrie serve as a symbolic indication that Morrie is about to move on to something new; seedlings bring new life, and indeed, Morrie is about to embark on a leg of life's journey that he has not yet set foot in.
Mitch notices evil and the potential for evil in the media and in his everyday surroundings, as he does when he reads about the murder and hatred in the newspaper, and when he notices the irritation on the faces of the people at the airport, who are so severely agitated by the heat, they look ready to kill. These passages in Tuesdays With Morrie string together to create a stark contrast between the popular social culture, which is inherently evil and driven by greed, and the invented culture that Morrie adheres to and that Mitch is slowly adopting, which is founded on love, civility, and understanding.
When Morrie uses the trust fall exercise as a metaphor for trust in relationships, he means to teach his students that trustworthiness is a mutual quality shared by both partners. Morrie teaches the students that trust is blind; one can only trust another based on an instinctive feeling, not by any rational judgment or method of thinking. To trust someone is to close your eyes and fall back, hoping that the person your instincts have told you is trustworthy will catch you and keep you from harm. Morrie's lesson simplifies the complicated issue of trust and trustworthiness into an easily digestible activity for the students to learn from, as his teaching caters more to life lessons than the academic.