Because Rita, my wife, has Parkinson’s we are subject to public scrutiny. By that I mean people readily notice the difficulties we face in handling everyday occurrences – like getting seated in a restaurant. On one occasion Rita lost her balance getting up from a restaurant table even while being held and promptly landed in a stranger’s lap. What a surprise that was for everyone, especially for the man in whose lap she landed! Today I want to commend people for their kindness and willingness to help and support. Generally people want to do more than just hold open a door but often that is enough. There are people who help with the wheelchair. A helping hand is always so appreciated.

There are those however – fortunately they are in the minority – who display their displeasure if they are held up even a minute or two by our being in the way. I think of when I stop the car outside a restaurant or the hairdressers to get Rita out of the car. You can read the faces of the drivers who have to drive around the parked car. It is sad that such a small maneuver will cause even a little belligerence. It is a shame they cannot comprehend that their minor inconvenience is minuscule compared to the constant daily inconvenience of those incapacitated.

It’s all in the attitude isn’t it? When faced with such a situation we all need to try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Identify with the person in their struggle and display a little empathy and kindness. I am glad and grateful to say that most people do.