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Don't Mistake Your Claws For Virtue

Monday July 17, 2017

The philosopher Nietzsche laughed at the “weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.” A good point, but what about the the tough types who mistake their claws for virtue?  Aren’t they just as ludicrous?

PDS 37 blog pic
 
I’m talking to you, meat sack. You think just because you handle your Parkinson’s Disease with a modicum of success, because you have the discipline to work out regularly,  do your research, eat right, and think yourself as a PD fighter, you have the right to call out other people with Parkinson’s for being crybabies, for giving up, and throwing pity parties?

Just to be clear: working out, eating right, and doing your research are all good, even essential things for maximizing your quality of life with Parkinson’s. I’m happy that you have found ways to get traction against this disease. But don’t you think those who seem to give in to the endless grind-down that is Parkinson’s would resist if they could? That they don’t choose to deal badly with PD, but rather, have no say in the matter?

I have my frustrations with those who do not seem to have the heart for going the distance against this disorder. Why would anyone take a more rapid path to disability? What could be more important than maintaining your health as long as you can, as well as you can? Why would anyone give up the precious, limited time we have to be with our loved ones, or to do the things that give us pleasure? Who doesn’t do their utmost to struggle for one more breath, one more minute in this beautiful, broken world?

I doubt that there are many who want their obituary to read “died prematurely after a feckless, half-hearted, struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Leaves behind a grieving spouse and children.” Maybe they don’t strive against the disease because they can’t. They don’t have the neccessary skills, the habits, the training or the motivation. Or they may suffer from apathy, which is a recognized non-motor symptom of PD.

Maybe the accident of where they live means good care isn’t available, and access to good information is limited. My friend Bill says that he suspects that in parts of the rural Northwest, People with Parkinson's are getting the best care available, from their veterinarian. Ouch. Maybe they can’t afford expensive drugs or surgery. Or they suffer from severe reactions or side effects from the available medications.

These are the accidents which shape our lives in ways over which we have little control.  Without control, there is no responsibility.  Without responsibility, there is no blame.

Don’t mistake your claws for virtue. Claws are a random gift from nature. Some have them, some don’t. Some have the skills or characteristics to maximize their leverage against the blows of fate. Some don’t. Again, who would choose to be among the disadvantaged in life? It’s not your fault if you don’t have the coping mechanisms to deal well with Parkinson’s Disease any more than it is to your credit if you do.

And if you do cope well with the PD disaster, congratulations. This gives you the ability to function at a higher level and to enjoy life better and longer than those who don’t. Isn’t that enough?  What it doesn’t do is give you the right to belittle the ones who have no claws.. They have plenty to suffer over already.

Peter Dunlap-ShohlPeter Dunlap-Shohl
NWPF Blogger

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