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Rebecca Hoskins / Her Campus Media

The Importance Of Solidarity

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

What is it to be unique? Our differences foster our sense of selves and our autonomy, but this drive towards hyper-individuality has perhaps blurred some fundamental lines of social cohesion, and alienation and isolation stand more imminent than ever. We may have already surpassed that threshold. I can’t say selfishness itself is an inherently bad quality; at the very least, it’s self-preservation. Yet, why must it be at the expense of compassion and regard for social responsibility? 

I hold much contempt for the saying “I do not owe anyone anything.” We owe each other decency. And there is no point to insulting your own intelligence by refuting that statement with the “what-ifs” and the exceptions. Petty hypotheticals will offer little respite from the fact that our collective sense of purpose may become further and further skewed should we fail to recognize our shared humanity. 

So, what kind of person does it make you if you claim that you have no regard for the wellbeing of others? It has never been “you against the world.” You are a pillar of the world. But in a world that seeks to divide us, solidarity is the radical act of resistance. It is the choice we make to see beyond ourselves, to acknowledge the humanity in others, and to honor our interconnectedness.

Strength in numbers is the testament to the human spirit, that the more who come together in solidarity, the more powerful their collective impact can be. Solidarity does not serve to be just a feeling or concept; it is a force for change. It is a refusal to be conquered by our differences but understanding it is both inclusive and intersectional; true liberation can only be achieved this way. Solidarity is strength, and what is strength other than to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, to amplify the voices unheard and marginalized? As pillars of the world, we bear the responsibility of building bridges instead of walls, of perpetuating peace instead of conflict. 

It is not easy, but the timeless principle of listening, empathizing, and standing for what is just never has been. It requires commitment and action, the foundation of addressing every pressing challenge of our lifetime and every lifetime before. In times of despair, solidarity is the beacon of hope to remind us that change is possible and a better world is within reach, one in which everyone has the opportunity to live with dignity and respect. 

Najifah Amin is a second-year biology major at VCU who is pursuing a career in dentistry. She is currently on the editorial team of Her Campus. Before that, she is a job hopper whose range stretches from Kumon instructor to ice cream scooper to now pharmacy technician. Her interests include cooking, pop culture, build-a-bears, skincare, and women's topics.