By Ashok Silwal / Nepal
In this COVID-19 pandemic that is gripping the whole world from almost one year, one of the most frequently mentioned word maybe is SOLIDARITY
In a general way, it can be defined as a form of ethical-social commitment in favor of others, an attitude of benevolence and understanding.It can be expressed through an active and free effort to help someone in need. In the term “solidarity”, there is also brotherhood, humanity, assistance, mutual support, availability, community, union, participation.
Let’s not have too many illusions but let’s try as well to be confident and positive anyway…
In this long period of great material and psychological, individual and social difficulties for everyone , some more, some less obviously, it is necessary that this value of solidarity lives and materializes, both as individual ethical value and as collective social and political value.
The big can help the small, the small can help the big…. the stronger can help the weaker and the weaker can help the stronger !
And as the pandemic is affecting the whole world ( with the reserve that, certainly, some manage to protect themselves better), let’s try to be truly” brothers” , because , in the end, we are all similar , rowing in the same boat, on the same ocean of the life, with our struggles, our dreams, our hopes… our tears and our smiles.
Solidarity can be individual or collective, private or political but when used generously, it makes everyone feel better, the rich and the poor, who gives and who takes.
If I can help my neighbor who does not make it to end of the month because he lost his job, if I can help my old friend bringing him vegetables or something to eat, because it is better not to go out for him in these days of contagion…. I will be happier than them.
To practice solidarity is illuminating, stimulating… also because you usually see results right away… in your eyes and in your heart: you feel joy and happiness.
And, in the same way, rich countries should “work”and behave towards poor countries . I think , especially, in this fragile and essential context about future vaccines..that are to be for everyone and everywhere, in the same time and in the same quality.
And because “life is a wheel”: one day its your turn, one day it’s mine.
Then, I am thinking this symbolical and metaphorical fable/story which belongs to Western culture but really to all cultures, by Aesop, writer from Ancient Greece, by Phoedrus writer from Classical Rome, by La Fontaine French writer ( 1621-1695) …. memories of studies in High School and University…
Listen to the fable: THE DOVE AND THE ANT
Once upon a time, there was an ant that approached a stream to quench its thirst. Trying to drink, the strong wind blew her down in the water. So it cried out asking for help. Luckily there was a dove which was resting on a branch right there. Hearing the screams of the ant, it took a small branch with its beak and handed it to the ant to cling.
The ant thanked very much and the dove said: “Don’t thank me! Helping others is a pleasure and a duty to be respected.”
One day, while the dove was sitting on a branch, a hunter saw it and he wanted to kill it with his gun. Then the ant, which saw the scene, climbed .on the hunter’s leg and pinched him very hard.
The hunter started screaming in pain and the dove flew away.
The dove thanked very much and the ant said:”Don’t thank me! Helping others is a pleasure and a duty to be respected.”
A meaningful story … not only a children’s story!
May this horrible pandemic teach us the value of SOLIDARITY, not only with our old neighbor or needing friend next door , even if beautiful and indispensable , but especially in this time of “planetary distribution “ of vaccines, one people with another, one country with another, the black with the white, the rich with the poor, without “forgetting” anyone, through the whole world for the better living of all !