Chapter 3: A Parkinson’s Reading Companion on Strength

“Strength does not come from winning.  Your struggles develop your strengths.  When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger 

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.” Dr. Seuss

Introduction: The 62 students in my undergraduate course, “Biology of Blood Diseases”, submitted quotes on five of the following: hope, courage, journey, persistence, positivity, strength, adversity, mindfulness, and life (for further details click here). This blog post is Chapter 3 including all of their quotes about ‘strength’ (click here to read Chapter 1: A Parkinson’s Reading Companion on Hope and click here to read Chapter 2: A Parkinson’s Reading Companion on Life).

Strength and Parkinson’s: To successfully navigate life in the presence of Parkinson’s requires many different strengths. This disorder robs you physically of mobility and flexibility, so maintaining physical strength is really important. This disorder robs you emotionally and this deficit is bigger than the physical defects; thus, to thrive with Parkinson’s demands several character strengths. Last year I wrote about the ‘Personal Strengths of Character’ (click here to read this post); thinking about the opening quote (“Perhaps I am stronger than I think.” by Thomas Merton)  immediately reinforces my resolution against Parkinson’s. Likewise, may these new quotes about strength bolster your ability to constantly resist this very uncooperative disorder.

Strength:  I am pleased to present Chapter 3 about strength with my co-authors: Angle, Hannah; Arthur, Kallie; Artov, Michael; Bagley, Kendall; Batista, Kayla; Blaylock, Allison; Byrd, Emory; Cabell, Grant; Catalano, Michael; Clark, Kendall; Cossaart, Kristen; Culpepper, Houston; Das, Snigdha; Davis, Eric; Defazio, Stephanie; Doudnikoff, Alex; Dua, Shawn; Evans, Jessica; Evick, Andrew; Farooque, Tazeen; Ford, Kelsey; German, Zachary; Gouveia, Katie; Hall, Nikita; Isler, Victoria; Kirkley, Joel; Koutleva, Elitza; Laudun, Katie; Le, Kevin; Little, Sarah; Mackey, Josselyn; Macon, Briana; Maddox, Kaity; Marquino, Grace; Mattox, Daniel; Mcknight, Kyle; Mcmanus, Brenna; Mcshane, Sarah; Monkiewicz, Caroline; Nguyen, Michelle; Nguyen, Teresa; Olinger, Emily; Patel, Darshan; Patel, Dilesh; Patel, Jenny; Perez, Abby; Peters, Daniel; Quirin, Julia; Rawlins, Shelby; Raynor, Nathan; Renn, Matt; Scott, Alicia; Sherry, Alex; Shin, Christine; Stanton, Kate; Story, Charlotte; Swango, Summer; Szyperski, Caroline; Windley, Taylor; Wooley, Caleb; Xu, Alice; Yang, Michelle.

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” William Ernest Henley

“Fight till the last gasp.” William Shakespeare’s King Henry VI

“Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amidst joy.” Felicia Hemans

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”  Helen Keller

 “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Gandhi

“You must never give in to despair. Allow yourself to slip down that road and you surrender to your lowest instincts. In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.”  Iroh, Avatar the Last Airbender

 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:13

“I have failed over and over again, and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.” Judith Viorst, Love & Guilt & The Meaning Of Life, Etc

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” Elizabeth Edwards

“There’s an end to every storm. Once all the trees have been uprooted. Once all the houses have been ripped apart. The wind will hush. The clouds will part. The rain will stop. The sky will clear in an instant and only then, in those quiet moments after the storm, do we learn who was strong enough to survive it.”  Grey’s Anatomy

“I will not be shaken” Psalm 16:8

“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love.” Washington Irving

“I have spent my whole life scared, frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen, 50-years I spent like that. Finding myself awake at three in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine. What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world and you kick that bastard as hard you can right in the teeth.” Walter White from Breaking Bad talking about changes to his life after his lung cancer diagnosis.

 “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” Napoleon Hill

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The massive characters are seared with scars.” Khalil Gibran

“I also know how important it is in life to not necessarily be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once.”— Cheryl Strayed, “Wild”

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.”  Rocky

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”  A.A. Milne

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”  Cheryl Strayed

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do, remember?” Gregory Peck

“Be strong because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it never rains forever.” Anonymous

“Your sadness, your anger will not solve the problem. More sadness, more frustration only brings more suffering for yourself, … No matter how tragic the situation, we should not lose hope.” Dalai Lama

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” Winnie the Pooh

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”  Ernest Hemingway

“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to” The Five People You Meet in Heaven

“You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.” Anonymous

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” Henry Rollins

“I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.”  Anonymous

 “It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” Vincent van Gogh

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