Towards The Goal

Blog Entry 1-PeterI realized the meaning and essence of solidarity only after going through a situation where I had to recognize the fact that I could not finish my tasks alone.

Our schedule was so tight then, our day having been “reserved” for a series of lectures, meetings and discussions.  We were all carefully listening to every single drip of information and industriously jotting down each important word that came out from the projector screen. As the others kept busy writing, an anxiety grew within me as I remembered the things I had to do and should have already done. That was the day before a special event. It was so special that it needed much more time and much more attention. But at that point, we had not finalized the things we were supposed to do. This dilemma was obviously the primary reason for the anxiety that overwhelmed me. Now the question was how to get through it.

It was 5:30 in the afternoon when the discussions ended. We had 30 minutes left to stay in the office and I felt helpless. My superiors were obviously disappointed but kept their cool and uttered those famous last words: “good luck.”

And then, as if on cue, the light appeared. The rest of the team willfully initiated an “overtime” in the office to help prepare the decorations needed for the next day. Upon getting approval, we did not waste the limited time given to us. The whole team committed to help and contribute to achieve the goal – the finishing the decorations for the tomorrow’s special event.

I was overwhelmed by this spirit. They didn’t have to stay, at least not all of them did. They did not even get any direct orders from our supervisors to help out, so why would they sacrifice their time and energy,  and even endure the hunger just to help finalize the decoration?

Now, while in the process of completing the Track A Training, I realize the simple answer to my question. Solidarity.

What I learned from this experience is something essential and must be applied within society. Nowadays, it is evident that “self-interest outweighs common interest.” Most people do not care and are not willing to care unless it would be beneficial for them. People who are in an obviously desperate situation are sometimes neglected by those who are capable of helping. And we also have this way of thinking, where we calculate what we get in return before we will help others. But in my opinion this kind of mindset must be abolished, both on an individual level, and even on a bigger scale.

Development is an integral goal of every nation. It is a goal that may not be achieved if people are not willing to participate. People must be willing to initiate, exert effort and offer their time in participating with the programs that helps in developing their nation. But again, if we want to achieve changes in big magnitudes, we have to be willing to apply the spirit of solidarity in the experiences we have every day.

 

By Peter Lev Donguines, intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office. Solidarity is one of the chapters discussed in our Track A Training. To learn more about the training, click here.