My concept of solidarity has been evolving and expanding with Erasmus+
Solidarity is a great word. A word that should always be written in capital letters. A word that implies many others: empathy, kindness, respect, trust, companionship, help, defense,.. It should go into the description of the characteristics of all human being, by nature. It should not be necessary that existed. Solidarity implies action. Solidarity is undervalued.
Some people consider themselves a supportive person for donating money to an NGO. Some people feel more supportive to buy a package of rice or toys for children from third world countries at Christmas, leave it in the supermarket that is responsible for getting to those soup kitchen, to facilitate their customers feel more supportive and not have to bother to look for the direction of those soup kitchen, where, perhaps, they live uncomfortable situations, of impact, that create a trauma and forces them to go to therapy with a psychologist to forget that the world in which we live, it's not so pretty.
Many things are said about solidary people. Some say that people who are very supportive is because they have a problem, a trauma or a very dark past. They are supportive because they need to forget their previous life, their past, compensate in some way for all the bad actions they have done and all the damage they have caused. They can be people who have suffered a lot, who have made other people suffer or even both. Solidarity can be a way to cleanse their sins, to make up for their karma. A solution to feel useful and a person integrated into society.
Another theory says people are solidary because gives them more than what they give. They are supportive because they are selfish. And for being selfish, since being in solidarity benefits them a lot personally, they are not really as supportive, as they may seem. My question, is it less selfish to do nothing to help others?
There may be concrete situations, people of solidarity who enter into these descriptions. And if so, they are supportive because they have suffered and want to help other people so that they do not suffer, should they not? I believe that solidarity comes in the human being by nature.
Now, in the era of social networks, it seems even that being supportive is a fad. The millennial generation and the later, want to have that picture with those black children in a desert or in an abandoned building. Can solidarity be a fad? Should not it be fashionable forever?
Solidarity should be a characteristic that is always present in our day to day, not at specific moments and a volunteer experience such as the European Voluntary Service or the European Solidarity Corps, should be a mandatory experience.
A person who is not able to show solidarity with situations or causes of injustice, is not a complete person, does not comply with the description of characteristics of the human being. In difficult situations it is shown that anyone can draw their most supportive side. For example, when natural disasters occur, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis,...
In Spain, racist and micro-racist situations are currently being experienced. At the same time, with the arrival of refugees, Open Arms was born, a boat that helps save lives and goes to the point of origin because their goal is not to continue going to the sea to save lives, if not, stop being necessary. They want to avoid people who risk their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean.
Refugees Welcome was born in Germany, now is found in several European countries, It is an initiative in which individuals, families with space in their homes welcome free and voluntarily, refugees. A third example, PAH, the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages in Spain, helps citizens not to lose their homes. They are concrete examples of solidarity, of helping the most vulnerable people, at risk of exclusion and even death.
It should not be necessary to add the word "solidarity" when describing someone, "he/she is a supportive person". He or she is simply doing what he feels is right, what should do as a human being, what any other person could do. He/she is solidary because he/she is simply a person. Help because you can. We can all help, regardless of our characteristics, our personal or professional situation. We all have something to contribute and that can help another person.
When I was child, I thought that solidarity meant going to Africa and helping the children who appear on TV. We can see acts of solidarity anywhere in the world. No matter how advanced the city in which we live is, there are sure, social centers to help the most vulnerable people. Or activist movements that help and raise awareness about situations of social injustice.
In our neighborhood there is someone we can help, sure. Some people are supportive and when asked why they do it, they respond: "today for you, tomorrow for me". It should not be like that, it should be answered: “I do it because I'm human.” We should trust people a little more, the concept of "chain of favors". As for example on this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU
Being in solidarity implies being aware of each of our actions and how we can improve them to help people who need it. To be supportive is to understand that equality is not enough. That who have more have to help those who have less. If there are people in different situations, we must achieve equity so that we are all at the same level and have the same opportunities to carry out our lives.
I must admit that my concept of solidarity has evolved throughout my life and since I have been able to live with people from other countries, to know the culture of other countries better, with different Erasmus + experiences such as the European volunteering service, training courses, youth exchanges, I feel a richer person, more empowered, more aware of what happens in my environment and in other countries, more able to help and be an active citizen.
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