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12.03.2018 15:55:04 8969x read.
Am I a person who show solidarity?

Am I a person who shows solidarity?

By taking my vows I promised to be  a person of solidarity,. By doing this I promised to share my money and property with others. I promised to listen to one another and to our leaders. And I promised to show my solidarity in living my affection.

According to me solidarity is a fundamental attitude. I am very happy I had parents who showed me how to live as a solidary person. Our house in ,Eindhoven was often shared with people who were in a fix and needed help: a jewish woman was allowed to go into hiding in our house for one and a half years during the Second World War; an acquaintance who was at odds with his wife was allowed to take shelter with us for months, relatives who had problems were welcome. My parents had a listening ear for many people.I live on in their footsteps.

When you want to be solidary it means, that you remain faithful to what you have promised. Others must be able to rely on you. It is necessary that you efface yourself. Empathy is needed, being able to imagine yourself in another person, to want to and dare to be touched. Solidarity asks for an open attitude to society, not ignoring abuses and oppression. That asks again and again that you are alert, that you don’t fall asleep. It obliges us to keep each other awake, so that we can really fulfill the promised solidarity.

After having been thinking for some time about the questions if I am a solidary person, the following came to my mind: there are three areas in my life where I can give shape to my solidarity. That is the world, the society; that is the congregation and that is myself. Let me start with the last one. Since two years I have gone through life as a vulnerable person. After a serious brain haemorrhage I am handicapped. My right hand and my right leg don’t function properly anymore. I sooner feel tired and light in my head. Every new day I try to overcome a certain feeling of incapacity and vulnerability. By trial and error. I try not to be pitiful, to straiten my back and take myself seriously. Much energy is needed for that. But I want to be solidary with myself and continue my life as satisfactory as possible. Many people support me in this for which I am very grateful. I try to do my best for people around me with what I am able to do and with what I am. Especially towards my fellow-brothers. I put the qualities which I have at their disposal, although that sometimes costs much trouble. I show solidarity by listening to people, by helping them, if that is possible. I visit people and share their joys and sorrows. Then I experience that praying for others is very important. I am happy to see that this often bears much fruit. Faithful prayer for others is a sign of solidarity.

I try to show solidarity for the people in Maastricht by dedicating myself to the Centre for Meeting and Inspiration in The Red Lion. For forty years I have been an active member of Amnesty International and I am of service for inhabitants of a nursing home. What does that solidarity ask of you ? That you discover what your limitations are, but also what you are still able to do, however old and handicapped you are. That requires real faithfulness for what you have promised people, near and far. That you not try to achieve something, but that you are satisfied with what you are still able to do. That you have the courage to keep your eyes and your heart open to the sufferings of others. That you are in peace with yourself.

You cannot wish yourself and others a more beautiful attitude on your way to Christmas 2017.

                                                                                             Wim Swüste.

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