To me, solidarity is the most pressing issue we routinely ignore. Solidarity is the expression of our unity, the willingness to stand up for our brothers and sisters we have never met, to decry injustice that we have not experienced personally, to feel the pain of people half way around the world.
In our modern society, we are ruled by institutions and systems that are designed to classify and separate people; imaginary nation states, religion, capitalism, politics and “ethnicity” are used to draw lines between “us” and “others”.
This is both a spiritual and a practical problem, and is not the natural state of being.
I believe our natural state is of oneness, that when we free ourselves from these conditioned beliefs we come to recognize our interconnectedness.
Solidarity on a spiritual level
The spiritual element to this is that the imaginary divisions disconnect us not only from each other, but also from our true selves. These institutions make us selfish, only concerned for our own condition. This causes a cognitive and emotional dissonance that is disastrous to people’s psyche. By denying our natural state, we are forced to suppress natural emotions and ignore our surroundings.
Humans are social, empathetic beings, we feel a natural connection to other beings, we can internalize and feel what others are experiencing. People are affected by the emotions and feelings of others. Anyone who has been to a concert or sports event knows the feeling of being swept up by a crowd’s energy.
Most of us have experienced our mood change when we walk into a room filled with people we love. This is not only a localized phenomenon. Love and compassion are the same from one corner of the globe to the other.
A Chinese person loves their children the same as an American. An Arab who looses a brother or sister suffers as much as an African. An Australian seeing a neighbor suffering cares in the same way that a Colombian does. This is the natural state of being. If a woman sees an infant in need, she does not stop to ask what country they were born in, what religion their parents practice or what political party they may support one day, she just wants to comfort and help it.
Solidarity on a practical level
On a practical level, unity and solidarity is the only way to change the current unhealthy state of existence and stop oppression so many experience. A good example from our recent past,is the demise of South African apartheid, which was the result of people all around the world pressuring their governments and the S.A. govt.
After it fell, people all around the world felt elation and joy for people they never met being freed from an oppression.
Another good example is the surge in donations and volunteerism that happens after a natural disaster. When an earthquake or flood devastates a region, people from all around the world sympathize and pitch in, and people on both sides of the equation, the donors and the recipients, feel better about themselves and the world.
Challenges out there
Systems and governments will not change because of individual voices, they are meta-level controls that require everyone to speak out, to divest of and oppose the wrongs, before change can occur.
The reason solidarity seems so far away at this point in time is because of institutions and systems that are set up to divide us. This is the oldest strategy for controlling people, divide and conquer. These systems are designed to categorize beings, to draw lines between illusory groups, which forces us to see people either as one of “us” or as an “other”.
This inherently dehumanizes the others, which is internalized and allows people to become uncaring or even hostile towards our brothers and sisters who do not resemble or agree with us.
But together we can change this!
My experience as the “other” man
For me personally, this started growing up as a white British immigrant to Canada, I had the opportunity to listen to people talking about “immigrants”. By immigrants, they meant Asians, Africans, Arabs, people with accents and different cultures, people who are easily identifiable as “other”.
While they were talking about “others”, in my mind, I could not get over the fact that I was an immigrant, and the only difference between me and them was the color of my skin and my ability to quickly adopt a Canadian accent.
This lead me to gravitate to those “others”, and I always found I had more in common with them than I did with the people talking down to them.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with people I have never met, whose countries I may never visit, because I believe that all living beings are interconnected, that unity is the natural state of being. The illusory divisions not only separate us from each other, but disconnect us from our true selves. As whole free beings, we realize the we are one with each other, with animals and with the earth.
These systems are supposed to force us to be concerned only with our own well-being, to ignore the suffering of others, to believe that we are unable to do anything. These are all patently untrue.
My message to people everywhere
especially people suffering from oppression and injustice is simple: There are people all over the world who care, and are actively working to make this a better place for everyone. I am only one of millions and millions. No one is alone, and there is love for everyone.
The reason I feel so passionately about standing in solidarity with people all over the world can be summed up by the famous quote by Ghandi “an injustice to one is an injustice to all”. When people suffer, we all suffer. The pain and negative emotions resonate out and effect the world around it.
This is both an energetic/ spiritual idea, but also a practical one. If we sit idle while people are oppressed in one part of the world, it empowers the systems and institutions to spread, and it will not be long before people in other parts of the world also suffer from that oppression.
The only way to stop these institutions and systems is for everyone to stand up to them in solidarity.
And it is happening more and more. All across the globe, black, white, Asian, Arab, Latino, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Siek, Atheist, rich and poor, people are realizing our oneness and standing up for each other.
Brother of all people
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