Sunday, 24 August 2014

S for Solidaritet (Solidarity)

In addition to being a Quaker, I’m a member of the Religious Social Democrats of Sweden. In Swedish the movement is called Socialdemokraterna för tro och solidaritet.  We are radical believers (of all faiths) with a passion for peace, solidarity and justice, a progressive voice for a just, open and responsible society. We are a bit redder and a bit greener than the Social Democratic Party. The movement has its origins in the Labour movement and in the Christian ecumenical movement. For me, being involved helps me to unite prayer with action and to live my faith.

In my English dictionary the word solidarity means unity based on shared interests, objectives and standards. On the Catholic Social Teaching website, solidarity is defined as being “about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals”. In other sources it is linked with kinship, bonding, standing alongside, drawing attention to injustices, and calling for change.

We can stand in solidarity. W can live in solidarity. We can speak and think about solidarity. We can practise solidarity. Solidarity has also been described as a moral value.

Whatever our expression of it is, it has to be permeated by love. It means caring. It requires time and commitment. It is ongoing.

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