On the nature of solidarity

Ro mother & child in rain (Reuters: Mohammad Ponir Hossain)

“The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives & him that takes.” –Shakespeare

It isn’t just mercy that refugees require because that has a sense of noblesse oblige & solidarity is a very different thing. But if you substitute mercy with solidarity in this beautiful passage from The Merchant of Venice, the message is the same.

Solidarity is not an act of charity nor a passive sentiment but a recognition that our human fates are tied together, that we are bound by economics, politics, colonialism & war–& that social transformation is forged only by active unity as brothers & sisters to end tyranny & make this world suitable for children to live & love in.

Photo is Rohingya mother & child refugees in the rain at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

(Photo by Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

{Reposted & slightly edited from September 18, 2015}