I once perceived a sticker on the street of one of the Polish cities with the definition of nationalism. I took a picture of it because it gave and exactly what I feel. "Nationalism teaches us to be proud of things that we have not been done and hatred for people who we have not met."
For me, the definition of solidarity sounds exactly opposite: solidarity teaches us to be part of the things that you are proud of and teach you to love people who you have never met.
I am writing these words on the day of the funeral of Paweł Adamowicz, longtime president of the city of Gdańsk (www.gdansk.pl), in Poland. He was attacked with a knife exactly a week ago, on the stage, during the annual finale of a huge charity campaign "Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy" (www.wosp.org.pl). In his last words, he thanked the city residents for their active participation in this campaign:
"Gdańsk is generous, Gdańsk shares good, Gdańsk wants to be a city of solidarity. I would like to thank you for all this, because you threw money on the streets, squares in Gdańsk, you were volunteers. This is a wonderful time to share good. You are loved. Gdański is the most wonderful city in the world. Thank you! "
A moment later, the attacker wounded him with a knife, later it turned out that he was dead. And his beloved city and country were grieving.
I come from Gdansk. The city is often called a city of freedom and solidarity, due to its long and complicated history (among others two times Free city of Gdansk, strikes and the emergence of the “Solidarność” movement, which led to the fall of communism in Poland) and the current character of the city (eg. openness to immigrants, open opposition to national and anti-social movements).
In recent days, I'm proud of my city even more than usual. With my relatives and friends and all those who have never met President Adamowicz, and support his ideals related to freedom, solidarity and democracy ... And all those who, like him, were ready to support people whom they do not know, by their time, commitment, words, thoughts and good.
This is solidarity for me when I light a candle away from my family home and join the mourning of a deceased man and think about the living people who I will never meet and for whom I want to be and to be a better person.