La Voz de Galicia – December 20, 2019 →

Cristina PatoThe time of year approaches when, inadvertently, one begins to reflect on the things one did or did not do this year, on the things that one could have done better, on the time one has spent doing things one did not want to do, on the time one has not spent with loved ones…

It seems that as the years go by, things don’t get any easier. And it is not a question of finding balance but of stopping to listen to oneself, in silence, in order to think and understand how to improve the vital journey one has decided to undertake. But listening to oneself and to others around us is a difficult task that requires practice, time, and determination. Listening involves being alert and try to understand what we have around us. Knowing how to listen is an act of courage, a radical act that has no turning back once it has begun. The case is to want to do it.

Today is International Human Solidarity Day. According to the United Nations, «solidarity is one of the fundamental and universal values of international relations in the 21st century» and by celebrating this International Day, it intends «to celebrate our unity in diversity» and «to make the public aware of the importance of solidarity.»

But what is solidarity? How does one practice it? The Royal Galician Academy defines it as «help that, due to a sense of moral obligation, is given to those who need it.» Perhaps, knowing how to listen is also an act of solidarity. Perhaps solidarity is being able to accept one another, to understand their circumstances (and yours as it relates to their truth) in order to act (or not act), and try to change the world by lending a shoulder to those who are alone, or simply by accepting that, in reality, we are privileged.

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