In the dictionnary, the word "solidarity" is described as "a union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc." and as something that "refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one". Regardless of its formal definition, solidarity is a value very dear to my heart. Here is my own definition of this word that influences our behavior everyday.
The first step of solidarity is being able not to look away. Being able to feel what others might feel. Thinking it could be you, one day. Solidarity takes root deep in empathy. Thinking of yourself as part of a whole. Being attentive to those who need it most.
Solidarity is not only about giving money, often synonym for hypocrisy. It is not only going on a humanitarian mission, as I used to think. Neither is it to be confused with pity. Solidarity is about compassion. About helping yourself by helping others. Solidarity is not about saving the world. Solidarity is not all about great deeds. Simple ones also succeed. Helping an elderly to cross the street, helping a young mom to carry her bags down the bus while holding her baby, giving some of your old clothes to refugees, helping someone asking for directions in the street… Solidarity is all the colors, all the flavors. Solidarity is everyone.
Solidarity lies in the laugh of a child, in the food we share with friends, in the smile we offer to a perfect stranger. Solidarity is about letting our humanity blossom. Solidarity comes over borders. It is about opening our soul to others. Solidarity is a ladder to a better place. A world we just need to embrace. Because this is ours, and our children are going to share after us. Solidarity gives hope for the future.
But most importantly, solidarity doesn’t need a long definition. It just needs us to take action.