What does solidarity mean to you?
The definiton of solidarity according to the Webster Dictionary is as follows: an entire union or consolidation of interests and responsibilities; fellowship; community.
But let’s take it a little further…
Solidarity also means to see and accept others as our neighbors, to be determined and committed to the common good and to remember we are responsible for each other as one, big family.
You may be asking yourself, “how can I be in solidarity with others?”…
Here are a few ways to practice solidarity today and everyday:
1. Treat others as equal and remember we are all “one”.
We must overcome any barriers of race, color, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status that create divisions. Remember that we are not meant to live independent of others, we are interdependent – asking for and receiving help is essential to live a peaceful and harmonious life.
2. Take time to listen to others.
Sometimes the opportunity to help is closer to us than we think. Is a friend or relative going through a rough time? Put yourself in his/her shoes. How can you help? How can you make the situation your own and positively transform it? Help carry the load!
3. Committ yourself to a time of reflection and prayer.
Think of those who suffer from the effects of war, lack of resources, injustice, forced labor…pray that the Lord grants them peace and alleviation and ask Him to open our eyes to the many opportunities we are given, everday, to make this a better world for all.
4. Share your God-given gifts and your time with those in vulnerable situations.
It can be as simple as becoming a volunteer at a local food pantry or women’s shelter. If you are interested in a longer-term committment, consider becoming a missionary and serve marginalized communities around the world. (Did you know we have an awesome missionary program? Visit our Incarnate Word Missionary FB page here!)
5. Be mindful and resourceful.
Remember that not everyone has access to many of the commodities and “luxuries” we are accustomed to. Take shorter showers, collect rainwater to water your garden, live a day without electricity, walk or ride your bike when possible, purchase fair-trade/locally crafted goods, etc. Be creative! Small changes in our daily routine can help us stay mindful and grateful for what we sometimes easily take for granted.
Make solidarity a habit in your everyday life!
“No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world … I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity…” – Pope Francis