Week one of college done. As the Script would sing, “I’m still alive, but I’m barely breathing.” It’s true. I’m taking a tough course load, and I’m super involved on campus. My life is insanely busy, but it’s so fulfilling. Anyways, at the college’s opening Mass, I found out that my school’s theme for the year is solidarity. Honestly, what a perfect theme to reflect upon this year, especially when the world seems so chaotic and fragmented. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a lecture called “Solidarity in a Time of Bias, Hate, and Violence,” and it opened my eyes to the fact that so much work needs to be done in order to create unity in our communities.
The presenters challenged us to think of solidarity as more than just unity. It demands each individual to commit oneself to the common good. Solidarity stresses justice for all and reiterates that humans were designed by God to be interdependent. Our society tries to marginalize individuals based on our differences and brainwashes people into believing that each person can thrive autonomously. Solidarity fights against society’s structural sins through self-sacrifice and care for the poor and vulnerable.
Later on, the lecturers stated that bringing solidarity into communities begins with a change in the mindset of each individual. I, myself, need to take a step back and notice my surroundings. Sometimes hate, bias, and violence are so embedded in society that it is hard to notice it if I don’t proactively look for it. It’s not enough just to acknowledge the terrible things that are happening in this world. I want to be part of the solution. How can I better incorporate justice, service, and solidarity into my daily life? Even on campus, how can I help create a more inclusive, welcoming community?
I may not have the answers to these questions yet, but the theme of solidarity is so thought-provoking. After all, as Christians, we are supposed to be one body in Christ. We need to be the ones who see the similarities in each individual, rather than separate ourselves based on our differences. At the end of the day, we are all human beings deserving of love, dignity, and justice. Imagine if members of society truly lived in solidarity with one another. What a wonderful world it would be. It’s not impossible, and I’m going to do my part to make solidarity a reality.
Lots of love,