eLanka | Solidarity in Action – by Oscar E V Fernando


Oscar FernandoIn its simplest form solidarity is mutual support and unity of interests, aims and actions among members of a group-taking it up from the dictionary definition.

With present day technologies, this ‘group’ definition has taken a global dimension-as we have to be in touch with people impersonally for business and commerce etcetera.

Solidarity also connotes that we must become aware of the growing cult of individualism-fast enveloping societies, with only a search within, for right or wrong, which is subjective, as opposed to objective realities of truth and moral behavior.

It also means that collective decisions must be given priority over individual whims and fancies to accomplish results.

Curricula in education must be emphatic that we cannot live and exist independently of others as we are interdependent beings: we must look at interdependence as something good-positive-rational and cherish able.

This is what some of the world’s great have said on solidarity;

Saint Paul speaks of humanity in general as the body of Christ in that we are all parts of that body-on being baptized into Christianity; to this concept can be added the words of the Lord’s Prayer authored by Jesus Christ to say-Our Father in plural instead of the singular My Father.

Pope Benedict pointed out that as society becomes more globalized with modern technologies, we have become neighbors but not brothers, and that with an in depth study of the concept of solidarity and fraternity, in a religious brotherhood, we begin to realize that we are brothers and sisters of one Universal Family.

Saint John Paul II had this to say on Global Relationships-I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources-to public authorities and all people of good will who are working for social justice-never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity-avoiding purely nationalistic indulgence.

Pope Francis-Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.

Solidarity is to be;

-altruistic-an unselfish concern for the welfare of others

-kind-to look at any problem in a friendly, generous or good-natured manner.

-compassionate-having a feeling of sorrow and pity for someone in trouble

-merciful-kindness or forgiveness shown when punishment is possible or justified.

One clear and singular example of solidarity is to be sympathetic towards global refugees and to understand their genuine plight, if any, before taking stern action against them-in patience and kindliness and this on the basis of universal brotherhood.

This poem further highlights that humanity was intended to live in solidarity.

No man is an island.

It is not good for man to live alone said He-

Even in a garden full of roses-multi colors and bees.

He then created a companion for his loneliness

For man to talk-laugh and be with-in all happiness. 7


Imagine man to be in isolation for whatever reason that be.

Man-so wills to be alone-or forced to be alone.

Whatever be it-try and he will know only restlessness will accompany

For man is meant to be in company.


Did man survive alone in the mother’s womb?

No! Nourished he was with nutrients from the earth

Toiled by another man-unknown to him even to his tomb

The tiny tot shuffling and wobbling needing help to keep feet on earth.

So it was from Adam to the unknown infant now at birth.


Life cycle rolls on with one needing the other

In school-in office-in family and in bigger society-

Learning variations in moods-breeding and manner

All needed to mold character to mix with those others in harmony.


He reads a book-with mental labor given to it by another’s brain?

He plays that game created by another for his relaxation to gain

He wallops that steak with spices to boot by that chef unknown

He sits at table to dine-with woodwork done by the carpenter also unknown.


Was man a handiwork of its own design and style?

Not a second will he live with no oxygen a while-

Given by a plant so cultivated by another or by nature ’s own guile

So-the command to love those unknown to us in Samaritan style.


Love that unknown worker-heap on him the benefits of his labor

To help his family to enjoy good life that yours wait for on fat dividends from that same labor.

Help the weak mate in class to understand the riddle of geometry

Cheer those that also ran in the race you came first with your own agility


This then is solidarity in action-a unity to win that common goal

That you alone cannot do as it was so in your mother’s womb-we were told.

So it is in family-office and wider society-you find solidarity is strength

For solidarity prompts us to realize that no man is an island to live in complete isolation.

Oscar E V Fernando

June 2020


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