During the Mary’s Pence board meeting last weekend, one often discussed concept was that of solidarity. What does solidarity mean to us, to our everyday lives and relationships with those around us? In this blog post, Mary’s Pence board co-president Bridgette Kelly discusses what solidarity means to her.
Solidarity at the Heart of Relationships
In early October, Anna Zaros, the Mary’s Pence Development Liaison, gathered with a group of St Joseph Workers to facilitate a conversation about Solidarity. Solidarity is a big concept and has many manifestations in the world. Anna was there to facilitate a rich discussion and bring in some of the grounding work of Mary’s Pence. People shared their stories and thoughts about what Solidarity means, about what it looks and feels like. The meaning changes for each individual depending on your context, your relationships and your personal experience.
Being involved with the Mary’s Pence board, this was not the first time I have been in a group of women and engaged in a deep conversation about the meaning and reality of Solidarity. At the last board meeting, board members shared the real importance of solidarity among the women of Mary’s Pence, and the day to day relational quality of solidarity.
I personally recalled the Solidarność of my elementary school days. That was the first time that I heard the word solidarity. It had a whole meaning unto itself in the early 80’s in Poland, but it is still relevant to the idea of unity: standing together in order to advance the common good, or in order to bring about real change. I sometimes struggle with what it means to be in solidarity with those I am not in direct relationship with, but it is our mutual commitment to creating and maintaining a relationship that ultimately defines solidarity.