The Bible invites us to love our neighbor as oneself. Altruism, solidarity, doing good for others, should be a kind of constant in our actions and thoughts. If even irrational animals can be supportive on certain occasions (see these biological relationships called mutualism, in whose many manifestations in nature both species benefit and therefore the whole of life), why is it that the supposedly rational homo sapiens find it so difficult to behave better for the good of others? On the one hand, it is sad but undeniable that difficult times bring out the worst qualities of many human beings. Both people and nations exacerbate their selfishness for the sake of survival or sometimes in the worst manifestations, they do so for the cruder and crazy self-benefit, no matter what or who can be harmed in the process. On the other hand, fortunately, there are those who then tree the best of values and decide to give of themselves for others.
As these terrible days of the covid–19 pandemic pass, while in some countries indifference or even the most rampant stupidity, there are also abundant positive examples. Suffice it to mention how many people, direct health personnel, many other workers associated with the fight against the disease, or even volunteers from various backgrounds, are in so-called red zones right now. From there, in direct contact with the sick and fighting for their lives, they reveal one of the most beautiful human qualities. Just to think about the long months of sacrifice this sector has had to take, changes in their lives, quarantined relusions, stop seeing their loved ones and be at constant risk of contagion, we should take more care of ourselves and not take on risky behaviors so as not to increase the number of sick people. Calculate, as you gloat on your weekend sheets, how many mornings Dr. Francisco Durán must have been getting up early to give the nation the daily part of the disease, and for a long time you can’t, say, sleep until ten or eleven like any neighbor’s child. This specialist is the visible face of a huge group that has been working tirelessly for the neighbor for many months now.
Because while it is true that there are a large number of people who must go out into the streets every day to prick their livelihood, there are not a few who, putting their selfishness ahead of them rather than thinking about others, go out to parties, even to the beach or to group walks. Just thinking about their amusements and well-beings does not allow them to see that, once infected, they could infect neighbors, co-workers and even their own relatives. There, solidarity thinking doesn’t work.
Beyond the pandemic, there are many moments when solidarity also acts in attendance. The character of the Cuban, extroverted, a little indiscreet and exaggerated, sometimes makes him go beyond the measured and intervenes in the lives of his close friends without asking permission, whether family or neighbors. There are a thousand and one manifestations of this procedure that we may already see as usual and which, although sometimes criticized, carries with it beautiful seeds of good and help.
How many times doesn’t the neighbor come to order some rice or sugar to finish today, because I haven’t taken out the errands? How many times does a coffee laundry include a cup intended for the lady in the house next door? How many times does that same lady ask us for the notebook, which I’m going down to the farm, and solve a necessary way or fruit?
Someone will say that poverty and deprivation cause such exchanges. It may be, but we believe, we want to believe, that this nation, in abundance, would not lose those everyday gestures for each other either. Today for you and tomorrow for me, it’s not a phrase that was born because of the crisis. Those thoughts and actions are a root part of who we are. On the contrary, they might get more increased if we had everything.
As an example, this scribe always remembers, in the times when he traveled to intricate places for work, the clean courtesy of the peasants and their repeated willingness to give the best they had, no matter how humble the site. The table might be poor, but it was offered with total wealth of spirit and sincere dedication. Thus, even the simplest dish tasted like ragweed.
Luckily, while poverty has returned to some more calculating and con man-con artists with others, some gestures save the day. A neighbor with a baby burned with hot water goes out desperately out into the street in search of a car.
A chauffeur stops, takes her to the hospital, and not only waits there for the cures and the outcome of medical care, but then returns her home to her, her husband and the child. Of course, he doesn’t charge a penny, but, in addition, a couple of times, he then becomes interested in the health of the baby. The anecdote is absolutely real and we know the protagonists. Any insurance reader can cite a similar one in their environment. Beyond our many laziness, mistakes and scarcity, these behaviors make us better, more human.
Right now, separate deficiencies and shortages, solidarity remains a regular presence in many places. In fact, with deprivation included. The rogue winemaker with which the old ladies argue daily about the missing weight in sugar or grains, is the first to leave the counter and run to help that same furry lady if she suffers fatigue and falls into the tail of the errands. A neighbor brings water, a pill, a bench…
This is how we are, by antonomasia, far from opportunistic slogans or by bureaucratic mandate.
Social networks are often also spaces that bring together solidarity and show good practices. Walk through the pages of various sites and you will find that help almost always appears for those who suddenly order a drug urgently or how to take it from one country to another. In fact, even solidarity with non-human institutions also has spaces on these grounds. Few groups of animalists struggle daily to make a collective love of wildlife and struggle to save lives or protect them from the dismantling of some. Right now, as a genocidal antifollage wave roams our cities, and pruning and indiscriminate logging makes trees a victim, a large number of voices gather their requests, and their actions, to save urban woodland and sow new specimens.
The list of bad examples could also be visible, unfortunately. However, we prefer to make the good ones visible, those, who, the Apostle would say, are what they earn in the long run. Because there is another adage that prays that good done to others always finds ways to return to one. That love for others will surely find channels to bounce back in our lives as well. Every good deed, big or small, has the power to make a difference. Let’s be supportive.