Empathy not Sympathy


Last night as I went to bed, I took some time thinking about how I would make this organization successful and relevant. As I was going through my plans and thoughts I couldn’t help but think of my dear father and all he went through. I remember vividly when he broke the news that he was unwell. He even went to the extent of getting a counselor to get me through it. At that point I barely understood that this disease was here to stay as there was no cure and I did not pay much attention.

One memory in particular invoked emotions that I didn’t know existed anymore. I remembered one sad night I woke up to go to the toilet and as I got to the door I heard a faint mourn and a very light knock on my fathers door. I thought it was the wind and I ignored the sounds and got into the toilet finished my business and walked out. As I switched off the lights I heard the mourn again and I decided to check on my dad. As I pushed open the door, there he was on the ground. He was on his way to the toilet when his legs gave in and he couldn’t get up. Luckily one of my aunts was home and I woke her up and she helped him back to bed. That was the last time my dad slept on his own. For the first time in years I cried myself to sleep as I put myself in his shoes. How long was he on the floor? What if I ignored the mourns completely? What if it was me on that floor, would I have wanted my children to see me that helpless? For so many years I focused on what I felt and God forgive me for never thinking about how my father felt. I felt depression, anger, despair, frustration, embarrassment all at the same time and I couldn’t hold back the tears. All this time I thought about how I felt and completely forgot that my dad was the victim and not me.

For me to be successful I need to be more empathetic of the plight of people living with Parkinson’s disease.

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