People always try to give definitions, exact names and description to all subjects, objects and processes around. It makes things easier and structured, or, at least, we think so. Everything has to have a definition, then we exactly know what we are dealing with.
“Solidarity” is not an exception. Historically, people tried to find similarities and common features, which could unite and help them to be accepted as a group or individual inside a hierarchal social system. Naturally, humans, as the majority of biological spices, feel themselves stronger and safer, when they are not alone and supported by others. This same needs of help and support do have almost all living creatures, but how is human solidarity different from usual survival instinct? Morality? Intellect? Belief?
All and nothing. It is a very thin border to define. When we are talking about a definition of solidarity in the 21th century, it is important to mention, that this is not just a ruled by virtual life, disinformation and hate-speeches, but also the era of high individualism and egoism, which oppose the idea of solidarity. “It is not my deal, what is happening THERE, so why should I support THEM?” – that´s a typical reaction to the call for solidarity with people, who are suffering from war, violence, discrimination, but are somewhere far away. But what would happen, if discrimination, violence and war would happen to YOU? And is this the only possibility to feel solidarity – to unite in face of danger to be able to protect yourselves together? Or is it just easier to take care of yourself and not to be involved in any process going on in the society?
But also living in one´s “own bubble” does not necessarily mean protection and safety. We are all living in very challenging times, when wars, conflicts and all worst inventions of humanity like propaganda and hate speech already exist in our daily life. New technologies help to keep influence of these processes on our consciousness unnoticed, but that doesn´t mean, that it does not exist. For example, the majority of Europeans are pretty sure, that there is no war, going on in Europe. In fact, there are war and military aggression going on in the European continent, taking lives of real people, destroying not just the economic and political system, but the destinies of peaceful citizens. New kinds of hybrid wars, internal conflicts and mass disinformation are creating a perfect space for mutual hate, misunderstanding and ignoring the problems of others, even though these “others” are very close to us. And when people, escaping from war, violence and disasters, are coming and asking for help, some “clever” politicians call it “refugee crisis”. Yes, it is a crisis, a crisis of human being, a crisis of help and cooperation.
Am I too negative? Well, maybe, but this is reality. So, is there a recipe against the disease of people´s ignoring and apathy? In the beginning of my essay I mentioned the term “emergence of solidarity”. Despite all negative factors and all challenging conditions under which we are living now, the solidarity can give us the chance to come closer to understanding, what exactly human being means. To my mind, solidarity- is the acceptance of diversity, respect of the individual and finding common sense in difference, which creates safe space and independent of one´s race, gender or nationality. “The emergence of solidarity” -is a long term work of finding the right way of acceptance and mutual understanding, which could continue for years and includes many phases and does not automatically promise a happy end. We all are already part of this process- by doing volunteer work , discussing important political and social issues, trying to change something for better on our local or on the global level, taking part in demonstrations or even just being a witness or observer already means to be a part in action. At some point it is also means the chance to leave one´s “own bubble” and start to be indivisible with other people, support each other and finally understand, that there are more things, which unite us, than divide.
We already started this process. Maybe lessons from history, maybe personal experience or maybe just a feeling inside us somehow pushes us to act. Maybe we cannot prevent big conflicts and other negative developments our own, but what we can do, is to respect the human dignity of each other and at least, do not stop the emergence of solidarity in our time. Better think - how we can contribute to it, to make the world around better, despite challenging times, that we are all meant to live in.