World leaders in unity rally in Paris. Just how far can this solidarity go?
I’m Paris! I’m Brussels! These and similar expressions are no strangers to us. We also know in which circumstances they have been used. Besides, we equally know the unity rally which follows to manifest solidarity. But just how far can such human solidarity go?
Terrorist attacks, humanity at its worst!
I believe in the goodness of humanity. Yet, I will lie if I don’t acknowledge that several occasions I have questioned my trust. I do doubt especially moments of terrorist attacks for I just can’t get it. Where on earth can a human being, in his right mind, find the energy to plot and execute his plans to massacre gratuitously his fellow humans?
Such unrestrained barbarism casts, absolutely, a dark spot on what I think about humanity. Indeed, terrorist attacks, and similar cruel acts, are dark moments when the world experiences what it means when a human person descends so low in his thinking and his action. He arrives at reconciling himself with savagery acts of no name. Fortunately, however, that’s not all we experience.
Unity rally, humanity at its best!
Yet, in the face of such sombre moments of brutality the glow of humanity illumines the world. It’s when we are hit hard by inhumanity, on one hand, that on the other bursts open before our eyes what it means to be really human. Solidarity takes the show spontaneously, materialising itself into unity rally. There the expression, a friend in need is a friend indeed takes its flesh. Certain occasions have marked me profoundly.
Unit rally a moment of ecstasy
It may sound strange to some people; anyhow, I just present things as I live them. Those murderous acts manage only to kindle anger in me but they merit not my tears. They don’t get them. On the contrary, a single of act of kindness seizes me right to the guts. I find it just a marvel to contemplate a human being acting humanly to another person. And there I have little control, tears just flow. My TV box is my witness. I remember some events.
Unity rally in Paris. Solidarity as spontaneous human response when humanity is harmed
Unity rally in Paris
When people unite in defiance against division, discrimination, intimidation and mobilise themselves spontaneously in acts of kindness; I’m confirmed in what I know about humanity. Here I just remember the unity rally in Paris after the attacks at Charlie Hebdo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqGhNP5DBYY. The solidarity that followed was more touching for me than the violence that necessitated it.
Remember how the streets of Paris just disappeared under the trains of crowds of people, matching in cohesion against the culture of killing. At the head of the matching crowds were heads of states, hand in hand. Wasn’t that just stunning? I was in charm, completely disarmed. That’s not the only experience.
Unity rally, a phenomenon of European capitals
Paris manifested again similar solidarity after the 13th November 2015 attacks. Yes, human solidarity reigned also in Brussels following the 22nd March 2016 attacks. La bourse was transformed not only into a memorial ground for the victims (https://www.dhnet.be/actu/belgique/attentats-de-bruxelles-manneken-peace-la-magnifique-video-tournee-a-la-bourse-video-56f39a8935702a22d5ae5128) but also as sign of human resilience, refusing to bend a knee to terror.
Wasn’t it just thrilling to see persons in the calmness of their humanity, recollected before a candle that continued burning despite the unfavourable weather –registering its resistance and victory of goodness over evil, light over darkness? Then, roses hang there, pregnant with emotion of loss but especially of enduring love, for those whose lives were violently ripped.
Certainly, you didn’t miss the golden images of humanity during those moments. A little girl looks at mum and dad in deep recollection –she just absorbs it right away and gets into the mood, participating especially either in lighting a candle or laying down a flower. Oh, yes, the language of humanity just communicates itself effortlessly. Who can resist it? I can’t.
Such cohesion through unity rally wasn’t limited to those cities attacked. It resonated in all the capitals of Europe. You got echoes from Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, to mention but just a few. Even across the Atlantic we had similar solidarity. Europe does the same when it happens on the other side. That is nothing more than what flows from who we are -humans. And when we feel with others we are only being true to our shared humanity.
There you have a bit of what keeps me believing in humanity even when at times I’m sickened by sudden show of brutality. The human solidarity overpowers any form of violence –victory of the joy to live over the gloom of violence. European capitals have been champions of such human spirit –I remove my hat in homage. And I would really love to end the article on this note but I have a little concern, perhaps a question.
“La Bourse” after terrorist attacks in Brussels. But who lights a candle for human beings massacred daily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Congo and immigants perishing in the sea? Who lays a rose flower for them?
Just how far can human solidarity go?
Who can tell me how many terrorist attacks that Iraq or Afghanistan has suffered? Who can update me on the number of those who perished and those who have remained handicapped for life?
Who doesn’t know about the massacres that have been going on for years in Bunia, in DR Congo? Who is capable of keeping the record of victims?
Who doesn’t know about the systematic massacres in the Syrian war, now for over five years? We know the misery of displaced Syrians. Who is not horrified to see innocent child pulled out of rubbles, cast completely in dust?
Who is capable of telling me the exact number of masses of persons who have perished in the sea?
These are but just other dark moments of human history. These events, I thought, merit a similar spontaneous human solidarity in form of unity rally, in a form of a lit candle.
But where are our world leaders to walk hand in hand in protest against such barbarism and affirm their resolve to fight for humanity? Where is our spontaneity to act in solidarity in form unity rally?
Perhaps, does it sound heavy in the mouth to say I’m Kabul! I’m Bagdad! I’m Bunia! I’m Alleppo! I’m immigrant? Where is that secret place where a little candle is lit and a rose laid in memory of victims?
I don’t ignore other forms of solidarity shown in such situations, certainly not. In fact, a lot is done. Nevertheless, the fact that this popular form of human solidarity, unity rally, can afford to go into hibernation in the face of such atrocities leaves me with more questions than answers.
Just how universal is such human solidarity? How far can my solidarity go?
(If you value human solidarity don’t leave without sharing this)