In Solidarity


Like Bernard Malamud’s protagonist in his novel, The Fixer, we are not political, and yet we are part of this world and its joys and woes. Solidarity is hardly adequate as a term to describe that which now needs our sympathy and support. There are so many in need, victims of cruelty, political expediency, prejudice, apathy, exploitation, and hostility.

We all are weak human beings, with the same basic human needs– food, shelter, education, refuge from struggle, and protection of life.

We are all human beings, and deserve and have human rights, the rights to free speech, freedom of  religion, or freedom from religion if we wish, the right to define ourselves and our needs, the right to choose those who govern and who promulgate and execute the laws we live by and under, the right to our individual and collective desire for peace and security, to a world in which all our children can grow up free from the horrible intrusions of war, from the harshness and ugliness of hatred, the indignity of exploitation, from the paralysis produced by fear, and access to the opportunities that life presents us. We reserve the right to find our own meaning in this great, terrifying and magnificent universe.

There is so much missing of all this, and especially in these early years of this new millennium we have seen so much we once took for granted broken and distorted by a rising insanity that seems to be gripping our planet. We have seen too much war and death, displacement from homes and homelands, suspicion of the stranger, greed and destruction, cynical manipulation, arbitrary and amoral use of force, and the rebirth of the language of lies and the abomination of hatred.

It seems that it will take all we have, all that character which we have saved up from our past experiences and accumulated traditions to struggle, as we must, to act against cynicism, nihilism, and willful mendacity. Our strength is the knowledge and belief, the hope, that together we will come through this, that together we will persevere and overcome, because we must.

Read and read and read. Write and write and write. And do more. Resist the lie. Speak truth as best we understand it. Listen to one another.

Let us hope for peace, in our hearts, in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, and in our world.


One thought on “In Solidarity”

  1. But I would offer some observations. Your vision is very dark, which I am sure is how you feel. But for me I see more light than your portrait suggests. Just today listening to a Terry Gross interview (host of Fresh Air on NPR, weekdays at 3:00pm, podcast available) with James Forman Jr., author of a new book called Locking Up Our Own. The author is the son of the famous James Forman who was head of SNCC during the civil rights movement in the 60’s. During the interview he pointed out that despite the negative influence of figures such as Jeff Sessions, in the most recent elections for Crown Prosecutor progressive candidates (including one from the ACLU) were elected in cities across America – including Chicago, Washington D.C., Austin Texas and elsewhere. It is facts like these, of which there are many more examples across the spectrum – from politics to technology, the environment etc – that make me less despairing than your “in solidarity” column might otherwise render me. I don’t pretend things aren’t awful, just that that’s not the whole story.

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writing from the soul and the mind

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