Several years before she passed away, my mom shared her favorite story about Mother Teresa. It is only now that I realize the full impact of the story, and perhaps, just perhaps, know that Mom knew how this story would stay with me, and be able to share it with others on this journey. Here is Mom’s story as I recall it:

Mother Teresa had gone into a city to look for a place to open a mission, in order to help those in need. She inquired about a certain building and was told that it wasn’t available, and her response was, “Thank you, I’ll stay’. She proceeded to ask how much the rent would be for the building, and was told that it was too expensive for her to even consider renting, and her response was, “Thank you, I’ll stay”. This scenario kept repeating itself several more times with different requests from Mother Teresa, the same answers from the building owner, but with a change from the building owner as a result of Mother Teresa’s persistence, tenaciousness, and respectfulness throughout. In the end, the building owner finally gave up and said that he would give her the building, because of her relentless quest to have a place to help others. Her response? “Thank you, I’ll stay”.

My good friends, advocates, and real-life people dealing with Parkinson’s Disease every day, Steve DeWitte in the U.S. and Tom Isaacs and Jon Stamford in the U.K.,
help me to live this motto from Mother Teresa every day.

When we’re told we can’t, to reconsider, and to let others take care of these issues, we’re not quick to back down, rather, our response (either in thought or vocally) very well may be, “Thank you, we’ll stay”.

The following comments could resound with some of you in the advocacy arena, along with the tenacious response we are likely to give…

“I’m not sure that what you have to say is important…”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

“We have already come to a decision about the direction that research should take…”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

“This is the way we’ve always done it…”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

“We’re not sure that we need your help…”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

“What do you think needs to be done differently?”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

“What is the patient community saying about these issues?”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

“Can you help us with this initiative?”
Thank you, we’ll stay.

One tenet that we live every day comes from Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote:
‘Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Steve, Jon, Tom and myself, along with countless other advocates across the country and around the world have said, and are saying, as a result of not consenting to feeling inferior to anyone in our quest…

“Thank you, I’ll stay”


One thought on ““Thank You, I’ll Stay” – Mom’s Favorite Story Comes To Life

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