2023 Parkinson’s Awareness Month and 120 Quotes to Support Your Journey

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” Thomas Carlyle

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” Josh Billings

Introduction: For whatever reason, quotes have been a part of most of my blog posts. It is not like I have a memory bank for quotes, but it resonates with me when I search for them and find the best quote. So to further commemorate Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I am pleased to post these 120 quotes/sayings related to several different topics/issues. Many of the quotes have been used before in other blog posts. However, many of the quotes are new and are presented here for the first time. Here are the broad categories to guide your reading, including:
Ancient Philosophers, Physicians, and Others Talking About Health and Disease;
•Michael J. Fox, the Face of Parkinson’s Today;
•The Gift of Time and The Journey of Life;
•Hope is a Good Thing;
•The Working Brain, Neuroplasticity, and the Good from Exercise;

•Quotes to Bring You Happiness, Success, or Gratitude;
Resilience Helps You Resist Parkinson’s

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” Gautama Buddha

Ancient Philosophers, Physicians, and Others Talking About Health and Disease: Many noted ancient philosophers had opinions about health, the brain, and disease. A few are presented. What is so interesting is that some of the thoughts expressed many years ago are still perfectly valid and legitimate claims today. Does that mean we have not advanced in our understanding of human nature and biology? Or that these sage people were ahead of their time in their knowledge of medicine, disease, and the human body.

  1. “Look to the nervous system as the key to maximum health.” Gale
  2. “True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” Wilhelm Von Humboldt
  3. “Only by understanding the wisdom of natural foods and their effects on the body, shall we attain mastery of disease and pain, which shall enable us to relieve the burden of mankind.” William Harvey
  4. “It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Socrates
  5.  If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” Hippocrates
  6. “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” Jonas Salk
  7. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius
  8. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer
  9. “The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.” William Osler
  10.  “Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and
    mental states.” Carol Welch
  11. “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison
  12. “Positive health requires a knowledge of man’s primary constitution and of the powers of various foods, both those natural to them and those resulting from human skill. But eating alone is not enough for health. There must also be exercise, of which the effects must likewise be known. The combination of these two things makes regimen, when proper attention is given to the season of the year, the changes of the wind, the age of the individual, and the situation of his home. If there is any deficiency in food or exercise, the body will fall sick.” Hippocrates
  13. “Mens Sana in Corpore Sana” (Translation: “A healthy mind in a healthy body”), Jevunal’s dictum.

Michael J. Fox, the Face of Parkinson’s Today: We are all familiar with Michael J. Fox, a brilliant child actor diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease who formed a significant Parkinson’s disease foundation. He inspires us all, and his words have real meaning.

  1. “Medical science has proven time and again that when the resources are provided, great progress in the treatment, cure, and prevention of disease can occur.” Michael J. Fox
  2. “So what I say about Tracy is this: Tracy’s big challenge is not having a Parkinson’s patient for a husband. It’s having me for a husband. I happen to be a Parkinson’s patient.” Michael J. Fox
  3. “Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” Michael J. Fox
  4. “Don’t imagine the worst… If you imagine the worst and it happens, you’ve lived it twice.” Michael J. Fox
  5. “My life is so filled with positives and blessings, and so filled with things I wouldn’t trade for the world.” Michael J. Fox
  6. “We may each have our own individual Parkinson’s, but we all share one thing in common. Hope.” Michael J. Fox
  7. “In fact, Parkinson’s has made me a better person. A better husband, father and overall human being.” Michael J. Fox
  8. “When prescribing one of the drugs I take, my doctor warned me of a common side effect: exaggerated, intensely vivid dreams. To be honest, I’ve never really noticed the difference. I’ve always dreamt big.” Michael J. Fox
  9. “It’s all about control. Control is illusory. No matter what university you go to, no matter what degree you hold, if your goal is to become master of your own destiny, you have more to learn. Parkinson’s is a perfect metaphor for lack of control. Every unwanted movement in my hand or arm, every twitch that I cannot anticipate or arrest, is a reminder that even in the domain of my own being, I am not calling the shots. I tried to exert control by drinking myself to a place of indifference, which just exacerbated the sense of miserable hopelessness.” Michael J. Fox

The Gift of Time and The Journey of Life: We started a new journey the day we received our Parkinson’s diagnosis. Do you remember that day? The burden of Parkinson’s weighs us down at times, but it rarely lifts us up. Yet, we have many days left ahead of us to live through. Therefore, the goal here is to tell you nothing is over because of your diagnosis. Yes, it’s tough, and it will get more complicated. But make it through by working hard to neutralize the venom from Parkinson’s. Time is still on your side. So smell the flowers from spring in the USA; if you are in Scandinavia, cherish the last bit of winter and prepare for summer, and if you are in Australia, enjoy the autumn.

  1. “Every moment you get is a gift. Spend it on things that matter. Don’t spend it by dwelling on unhappy things.”  Celestine Chua
  2. “One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” Viktor Frankl
  3. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde
  4. “We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” Paulo Coelho
  5. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu
  6. You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.” Paulo Coelho
  7. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?” John Wooden
  8. “Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name. ” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis
  10. “The journey itself is going to change you, so you don’t have to worry about memorizing the route we took to accomplish that change.” Daniel
  11. “You can’t expect life to play fair with your heart or your brain or your health. That’s not the nature of the game we call life. You have to recognize the nature of the game and know that you can do your best to make the right choices, but life if going to do whatever the hell it pleases to you anyway. All you can control is how you react to whatever life throws at you. You can shut down or you can soar.” Holly Nicole Hoxter
  12. “I do believe my life has no limits! I want you to feel the same way about your life, no matter what your challenges may be. As we begin our journey together, please take a moment to think about any limitations you’ve placed on your life or that you’ve allowed others to place on it. Now think about what it would be like to be free of those limitations. What would your life be if anything were possible?” Nick Vujicic
  13. “Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.” Susan Sontag
  14. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
  15. “speak quietly to yourself & promise there will be better days. whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort. console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes. offer comfort in practical and tangible ways – as if you were encouraging your dearest friend. recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes. tomorrow comes more brightly…” Mary Anne Radmacher
  16. “Never give up. It’s like breathing—once you quit, your flame dies letting total darkness extinguish every last gasp of hope. You can’t do that. You must continue taking in even the shallowest of breaths, continue putting forth even the smallest of efforts to sustain your dreams. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.” Richelle E. Goodrich
  17. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke
  18. “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” H.G. Wells
  19. Don’t ever give up.
    Don’t ever give in.
    Don’t ever stop trying.
    Don’t ever sell out.
    And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment,
    pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off.
    But never, ever, ever give up.” Richelle E. Goodrich

Hope is a Good Thing: A fundamental tenet in this blog has always been the concept of hope and remaining hopeful for any advance in Parkinson’s. Fill your chest full of hope each morning, which should last throughout the day’s remaining hours. Everyone has a happy place and hopeful memories that are secure in their minds. In times of trouble, go there to renew your heart and replenish your hope. To have hope is to be breathing. To believe in hope is the strength you have that somewhere, somehow, an advance will be made in our lifetimes to help slow the pace of progression of Parkinson’s.

  1. “Hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, that it’s painful and risky, that it’s making a dare in the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?” Patrick Ness
  2. “I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.” Pat Benatar
  3. ” Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.” Alexandre Dumas
  4. “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.” Orison Swett Marden
  5. “Hope is a waking dream.” Aristotle
  6. In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. ” Albert Camus
  7. “While the heart beats, hope lingers.” Alison Croggon
  8. “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.” Anne Lamott
  9. “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” Barbara Kingsolver
  10. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
  11. “If you keep hope alive, it will keep you alive.” Cassandra Clare
  12. “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
  13. “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.” Emil Brunner
  14.  “To live without hope is to cease to live.” Fyodor Dostoevsky
  15. “No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” George Chakiris 
  16. The first thing I read after being diagnosed on the internet was Parkinson’s attacks the mind, body and the spirit. There is one thing that treats all three and that’s hope. That’s very true, you have to live with hope.” Gordon Adai
  17. “Know that wherever you are in your life right now is both temporary, and exactly where you are supposed to be. You have arrived at this moment to learn what you must learn, so you can become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Even when life is difficult or challenging-especially when life is difficult and challenging-the present is always an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and become better than we’ve ever been before.” Hal Elrod
  18.  “At the end of the day, all you can hope for is to go on. The older I get, the more I realize that just keeping on keeping on is what life’s all about.” Janis Ian
  19. “I’m touched by the idea that when we do things that are useful and helpful – collecting these shards of spirituality – that we may be helping to bring about a healing.” Leonard Nimoy
  20. “Never lose faith in yourself, and never lose hope; remember, even when this world throws its worst and then turns its back, there is still always hope.” Pittacus Lore
  21. “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” Thich Nhat Hanh“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” Thomas Merton
  22. “Perhaps I am stronger than I think.” Thomas Merton
  23. “Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man” Victor Hugo

The Working Brain, Neuroplasticity, and the Good from Exercise: The brain is the most complex organ, always working, even while we are asleep. The logistics behind the process and progression of Parkinson’s is better understood; however, the pathway to slow down progression has been linked to only one feature to date. Specifically exercise. Re-wiring the brain is possible, and we call it neuroplasticity. Yet again, a neuroplastic brain takes a lot of constant and sustained effort through aerobic exercise.

  1. “Neurons that fire together wire together. Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. This is what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity,” Rick Hanson
  2. “Among other things, neuroplasticity means that emotions such as happiness and compassion can be cultivated in much the same way that a person can learn through repetition to play golf and basketball or master a musical instrument, and that such practice changes the activity and physical aspects of specific brain areas.” Andrew Weil
  3. “Any man could, if he were so inclined, be the sculptor of his own brain.” Santiago Ramón y Cajal
  4. “The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” William H. Cooper
  5. “It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
  6. “Physical fitness can neither be acquired by wishful thinking nor by outright purchase.” Joseph Pilates
  7. “If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end.” Julius Erving
  8. “Most of us think we don’t have enough time to exercise. What a distorted paradigm! We don’t have time not to. We’re talking about three to six hours a week – or a minimum of thirty minutes a day, every other day. That hardly seems an inordinate amount of time considering the tremendous benefits in terms of the impact on the other 162 – 165 hours of the week.” Stephen Covey
  9. “A willing mind makes a hard journey easy.” Philip Massinger
  10. “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott
  12. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden
  13. “Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness.” M. Scott Peck
  14. “Exercise: you don’t have time not to” George A. Sheehan
  15. “Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows.” Daniel J. Siegel
  16. “You fill a bucket drop by drop. You clear your mind thought by thought. You heal yourself moment by moment. Today I make one drop, clear one thought, and get present to one moment. And then I do it again.” Lisa Wimberger
  17. “Pushing yourself past your boundaries of limitation and extreme, sometimes to something that knocks off our comfort zone, it creates new neuro-pathways with our brain, we become smarter, wiser, more clarity, our life becomes more fulfilling. Only because we have a totally new experience. We get a new brain with that. Neuroplasticity”. Angie Karan
  18. “Our brains renew themselves throughout life to an extent previously thought not possible.” Michael Gazzaniga
  19. “The old adage we usually hear is that “practice makes perfect.” Based on what we know about neuroplasticity and deliberate practice, we should rephrase that to read, “practice makes permanent.” As you organize yourself for this self-reflective prep work, remember that it is not about being perfect but about creating new neural pathways that shift your default cultural programming as you grow in awareness and skill.” Zaretta L. Hammond
  20. “The beauty of neuroplasticity is that when you make changes to what you remember and how you remember it, what you do and how you do it, your brain overrides the old neural networks with new ones.” Jennifer Fraser
  21. “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily” Paulo Coelho
  22. “Your brain is your greatest weapon. Connect it to your heart, and you can go anywhere.” Angelique Kidjo
  23. “The absolute truth cannot be realized within the domain of the ordinary mind, and the path beyond the ordinary mind is the path of the heart.” Sogyal Rinpoche
  24. “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Frederick Salomon Perls
  25. “The diseases of the mind are more and more destructive than those of the body. [Lat., Morbi perniciores pluresque animi quam corporis.]” Marcus Tullius Cicero
  26. “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” Aristotle
  27. “If it’s still in your mind, it is still in your heart.” Paulo Coelho
  28. “An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.” George S. Patton
  29. “Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.” Jeffrey Eugenides

Quotes to Bring You Happiness, Success, or Gratitude: The quality of life issue is always present in Parkinson’s. As we battle this menace, one wants to find happiness and continue to thrive to succeed in work and life. As always, one needs gratitude to complete the cycle of goodness from giving thanks. But, unfortunately, there is no guarantee of a good life. All we can do is make a significant effort to manage our disorder and then go from there. These quotes are included to remind it is not simple to remain happy, it is never easy to succeed, and never forget to give thanks. The effort is what makes these points worth pursuing.

  1. I think it’s great to be flawed. I am hugely flawed, and I like it this way. That’s the fun of life. You fall, get up, make mistakes, learn from them, be human and be you. Priyanka Chopra
  2. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey
  3. I’ve been very fortunate to have good people in my life, and when you find good people, you gotta hold onto them real tight. Lana Condor
  4. The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
  5. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. Roald Dahl
  6. To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone. Reba McEntire
  7. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
  8. Nothing can dim the light that shines from within. Maya Angelou
  9. It’s not what we have in life but who we have in our life that matters. Margaret Laurence
  10. One day or day one. It’s your decision. Unknown
  11. You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. C.S. Lewis
  12. The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. Audrey Hepburn
  13. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw
  14. I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. Arthur Rubinstein
  15. It is not the length of life, but depth of life., Ralph Waldo Emerson

Resilience Helps You Resist Parkinson’s: Resilience means that one can recover quickly from difficulties and possess a certain toughness. It seems like resilience is what one needs to encounter Parkinson’s daily. It is not strength but an ability to recover from Parkinson’s insidious harm. It is not persistence but a sense that here it comes; I will withstand the assault and return to normal in no time afterward. It is more of a coping mechanism, an inner compass that allows one to return to a better place, all-the-while living with Parkinson’s.

  1. “Resilience is not what happens to you. It’s how you react to, respond to, and recover from what happens to you.” Jeffrey Gitomer
  2. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
  3. “Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.” Yasmin Mogahed
  4. “The best antidote to stress is resilience… having the ability to respond to change or adversity proactively and resourcefully.” Lauren Mackler
  5. “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” Helen Keller
  6. “Resilience is based on compassion for ourselves as well as compassion for others” Sharon Salzberg
  7. “I’m not sure if resilience is ever achieved alone. Experience allows us to learn from example. But if we have someone who loves us-I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side-then it’s easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self-esteem that allows a person to stand up.” Maya Angelou
  8. “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” Elizabeth Edwards
  9. “Resilience is not what happens to you. It’s how you react to, respond to, and recover from what happens to you.” Jeffrey Gitomer
  10. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche
  11. “The greater the force of your compassion, the greater your resilience in confronting hardships.” Dalai Lama
  12. “You can do anything as long as you don’t stop believing. When it is meant to be, it will be. You just have to follow your heart.” Keke Palmer

“Finding and creating your life’s work, even if it is entirely different from what you have done most of your life, will bring you more happiness and health than any other action you can take. If your primary responsibility in life is being true to yourself, that can only be accomplished by carrying out what you are called to do – your unique and special vocation…Your life’s work involves doing what you love and loving what you do.” Dennis Kimbro

Cover Photo Image by Ирина from Pixabay

2 Replies to “2023 Parkinson’s Awareness Month and 120 Quotes to Support Your Journey”

  1. Thank you so much for this amazing wealth of information. My husband was recently diagnosed with PD and we are really struggling to understand all of the ramifications of this diagnosis. We are currently living in Cape Town SA and, while the private medical sector here is generally excellent, for PD there is very little in the way of information or support. We have seen 2 neurologists and both basically gave us a prescription and a “good luck” and told us to come back in 2 months 😦 I have been scouring the web for information, but I have to say, your BLOG, with its combination of science, research and your personal experience has given me an entirely new perspective and has given me new hope. Thank you.


    1. Amanda, greetings! I am sorry to hear about your husband’s Parkinson’s diagnosis. What you describe about PD-directed care in Cape Town is common. Count your blessings when you find a good Movement Disorder Specialist. In the meantime, you do whatever you can to educate yourself. I’m happy that you discovered this blog site, welcome aboard for the journey. Best wishes, Frank


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