A brief essay on solidarity from a Hungarian university student, filled with all the frustration I had in my head for almost a decade now.
Solidarity has been a quite important phrase in the country I am from for the past few months. A slogan of the ongoing protests, you could say. This very situation that is going on in Hungary right now, made me understand what solidarity is.
For me, solidarity is when you protest for the rights of workers. Not because you will also become one in the future, but because when you think about what four-hundred hours of overtime work in a year means for a family, it breaks your heart. Too many children will grow up with their grandparents because mom and dad are working. Too many people will overwork themselves, just to earn enough money for their family to cover the very basic needs. Too many multinational companies will get richer every day, only shrugging when a simple worker dies.
Solidarity is when you stand up for the rights of migrants. The war is the only wall that protects the status quo that is oh-so-dear for mainly the United States. They would never want to lose their power. Cries of innocent folks will
never be heard by them. Populists will build entire hate campaigns on “the evil that are trying to take over our glorious country” while closing immigrants in tight spaces without giving them food for days.
Solidarity is when you stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ community. When you are trying to help those who live their life in complete denial and hatred just because of their love life or gender. When you have the courage to ask the world: if a man and a woman can marry, why can’t gays? If a man and a woman will never be killed for holding hands, why would gay people be?
Solidarity is when you stand up for the equality of women. You do not say that women are better than men but women are better than how they are being treated right now. The pay gap, all of the society’s expectations about “how a women should look”, ”how a women should speak”. My long-time dream is to become a demolition expert. I got told I cannot be. Why? Because it is not a women’s job. Become a teacher instead. Become a pediatrician. Do that because that are jobs specifically for the “weaker gender”.
Solidarity is not something that can be defined in a dictionary. It is an overwhelming feeling of will to act, to help others in need, to do everything to protect the basic rights of every person, regardless of their gender, sexuality, financial situation or skin colour. Every one of us are equal human beings.