Our animal natures are in a constant state of tension between the personal and the communal. We have instincts which drive us to gratify ourselves, to dominate for food, status and mates. And then we have the pull towards the good of the tribe, pack or troop and the protection and support it offers.
Today is International Human Solidarity Day -- a chance for us all to remind ourselves that what we hold in common is more important than what divides us, and that the needs of the most vulnerable should stand at the heart of our common commitments.
In the midst of the regular visits and umpteen fact-finding missions to the Holy Land, and weighty statements made by numerous church leaders or heads of ecumenical organisations, all of it professing solidarity with the Christians of the region, the following link takes us to a Ha'aretz article highlighting one of the many small daily indignities suffered by those same Living Stones - a spitting attack.
To consider the possibility that whatever we cherish in our own environment, legends and customs, could have a parallel in the hearts of others, is to begin to mix the mortar that may bind us in solidarity, says Jill Segger. It is this solidarity which rests at the heart of a patriotism worthy of the name.
Acts of solidarity can offer opportunities for growth, to connect at a deeper level not only with other humans but also with the divine, says Savi Hensman, drawing upon recent events and biblical wisdom.