When You’re Living with Parkinson’s Disease, Kindness Matters
“You will never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors. No matter how happy someone looks, how loud their laugh is, how big their smile is, there can still be a level of hurt that is indescribable. So be kind. Even when others are not, choose to be kind.” —Author unknown, via 3am Thoughts Facebook page
What was my mindset?
The weather was typical of a New York winter’s day: cold, damp, and dreary. My spirits were equally dark and depressing. Parkinson’s disease (PD) has a way of aging people before their time. As I walked into the grocery store, I was ruminating on how much my bones ached and how fatigued I felt.
When I went to purchase my items, I asked for my 10 percent senior discount — there are some benefits to getting old. The young woman behind the counter looked me in the eye and said in a sincere tone that she thought I was much younger than 65. I could tell she meant to pay me a compliment and was not going to ask me to prove my age with my driver’s license. I was so touched by her kind words that I broke down in tears.
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This woman’s random act of kindness blew me away. My mood transformed from melancholy to elated in seconds. She didn’t know that I was in the midst of a major pity party thinking about how old I felt. She was surprised by my tears and didn’t realize how welcome her words were to me when I was feeling miserable.
Why am I telling you this?
The point of my sharing this brief, transformative moment of my PD journey is that kindness does matter. The simplest actions can make a huge difference to someone who may be going through a difficult time. It has been weeks since this act of kindness. However, I still smile at the thought of that simple gesture from a stranger. This was an unsolicited, kind act from someone who didn’t know how unhappy I was or how much I needed some positive feedback.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop
Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.