These words from a man who has been dealing with Parkinson’s disease for decades. His life was turned upside down, his career stunted and his children know him no other way, other than a dad that shakes a lot. Michael J. Fox has taken away all our of excuses when we are feeling bad or having a bad day. Our dignity may be dented, vandalized or mocked yet it can never be removed unless we surrender it.
There are days when we all want to curl up into a ball, nap under a warm blanket and forget that the rest of the world exists. We need to care for ourselves any way possible in order to be ready to face our current reality tomorrow. It may mean eating ice cream, taking a long, arduous bike ride, laughing at a hilarious movie, or crying our way through a favorite tear jerker. However, whatever, whenever we need some care let this be a reminder to take it. The key is to never surrender our dignity. Never let someone else’s actions prevent you from feeling worthy, able and important.
The world is not always a kind place, a safe place, or a place where what we have to offer is appreciated. In order to be able to honor others we first must honor ourselves. By protecting our own dignity we are upholding everyone else’s right to the same treatment. When we give into the battle and give up, we give permission for others to do the same. Along that same line, when we treat others with malice, contempt or unkindness we invite that same treatment to be rendered upon ourselves. You get what you give, so think before you speak or act. The seeds you sew come back like kudzu as a tiny seed that grows into a real environmental nightmare.
Today let us protect and respect our own dignity and the dignity of those around us. It may be tough, yet if a shaking Michael J. Fox can do it so can we.