What is solidarity?
I think we can look at the definition of solidary and even dig deeper to understand what solidarity requires us to do.
The Oxford dictionary defines solidarity is as “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.”
Simply put, solidarity calls us to stand alongside our brothers and sisters in our daily lives and keep on marching toward a better tomorrow.
But radical solidarity calls us deeper and as Dorothy Day, a great servant of God, said, “What we would like to do is change the world – make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe and shelter themselves as God intended them to do.
“And to a certain extent, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute, we can, to a certain extent, change the world.
“We can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever-widening circle will reach around the world.
“We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.”
This great woman calls us to reach deeper, to listen closer and to challenge our boundaries to live out solidarity.
Solidarity calls us to look at every angle of our life.
Sometimes when we reflect on our own lives, we can recognize areas that we fail at living out solidarity in.
If, at the end of the day, we self-judge our actions throughout the day, we should ask ourselves if we’ve done enough to support those who are in need of our advocacy.
Whether they were complete strangers on the street or our own best friends, parents, brothers and sisters – did we do enough to stand by their side? Did we try to guide them when we didn’t agree with them, or did we turn a blind eye?
Do we stand with our brothers and sisters in their struggle against oppression? Do we stand with our family as they struggle to find love in a busy world? Do we sit with our loved ones as they begin to ask the tough questions of faith?
Solidarity calls us into first and foremost a deeper relationship with each other. A deep relationship with those around us becomes the foundation to any future efforts to make the world just a little better. While this may sound like a utopian view, it is one worth pursuing.
Change starts at home.
But as we develop relationships with those around us, we dig deeper into ourselves. We get to know, ourselves of all people, better as we go through and discover what we believe in.
We cannot stand with our loved ones fully if we do not first know what we stand for ourselves.
So a challenge moving forward into the last few weeks of the semester, let’s make a commitment to fully know ourselves and then stand with our brothers and sisters in whatever may be resting on their hearts.
Whether that may be with helping each other deal with the stress of finals or sitting with our friends during a hard night, being there for each other can be achieved by the simple task of just being there.
Practice solidarity and be the face of Christ that we all must try to be.