SOLITARY TO SOLIDARITY by Melissa Tandoc

Thursday, August 8, 2011 . 33 comments . Posted in General

SOLITARY TO SOLIDARITY: fractio panis

I was crossing the foot bridge of Cubao one day when I noticed an old woman with a heavy luggage struggling to get down. Dodged, nobody seemed to care. On the other side of the street, were young children holding transparent plastic bags and sniffing what was inside… As I took the long ride home, I cried just as the rain poured heavily in the streets. I wasn’t able to do something to help the people I saw that day.

I heard a voice within…

—————-

One night, my friend Nithin asked me to write ‘anything’ on humanity. Which aspect should I touch when it had everything in it? Compassion? Forgiveness? Peace? Humility? Love?

I revisited an old article I wrote but the content is as real now as it was a decade ago.

There’s something that we never seem to outgrow.  I call it a “solitary game” we often play when we are afraid to risk, when the “I” is exorbitant to go beyond the self –and there is no room to relate and really love in the process.

More often than not, I see a certain estrangement in our co-existenceAnd so we are both there in parallel play absorbed, like two-year olds, in our own cares and concerns — totally dissociated from the reality that we are related to each other…

Quoting from Henri Nouwen’s book, Reaching Out:

In our world full of strangers, estranged from their own past, culture and country, from their neighbors, friends and family, from their deepest self and their God, we witness a painful search for a hospitable place where life can be found…Our society seems to be increasingly full of fearful, defensive, aggressive people looking anxiously clinging to their own property and inclined to look at their surrounding world with suspicion, always expecting an enemy to suddenly appear and do harm. But still — that is our vocation: to convert the “hostis” into “hospes”, the enemy into a guest and to create the free and fearless space where brotherhood and sisterhood can be formed and fully experienced

Just how much space do we create for the other? Have we become so comfortable by ourselves that we do not feel the ‘need’ for each other? Are we sensitive to the woes of the people we encounter everyday? In a larger scale, do we care what happens to other countries? Do we experience the same struggles as them?

Who says it is easy? It entails a lot of dying—to our passions, desires, wants, self-centeredness. But this is just so that new life may emerge

Everyday, the Lord comes to us to be blessed, broken and shared.  Fr. G. Bini, OFM calls it a ‘Sacrament of Love’ where everyone is invited to do the same…”so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (Jn.15,13). The bread that is the Word, is enfleshed, broken down to be shared in a concrete form. We are no longer

strangers to each other. We become brothers and sisters to one Father—regardless of race, color, creed, beliefs.

The bonding force of the universe is love ( T. Keating ). “As I have loved you, so also should you love one another” (Jn 13,34).

What holds the world in place right now are the very people who still believe in love, in sharing life — people who are hopeful amidst a culture of death, those who by some strange way see the light in the tiny crevices of the wall that keeps us apart. And what of the other side of the wall?

The wall is in our mind. We hold the key.

————-

“Woman, behold your son…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Behold your mother…(Jn. 19,27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/SayonKumarSahaPhotography

Blog Link : http://www.grazieadio.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


33 Comments

  1. Alpana Jaiswal

    Very powerful piece of work,sweetheart…and I was waiting all these days for your post…and its special compassionate…just like the Melissa I know…pure at heart.Comparison to “solitary”..never thought on those terms. Yes,we alone hold the key…Every story has an end, but in life every ending is just a new beginning,its not too late as yet….loved it,from my heart..♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    Reply
    • melissa

      Thank you very much soul sis Alpana. As i read through everybody else’s post, I saw you among the cheerers in each of them. I am very grateful for the support you give me both personally as a friend and soul sister and as a writer.

      Love you Alpana…

      Reply
  2. Portia Burton

    Yes,this world is being held together by the people who believe in love.Love is God and we must spread His word through our love to each other to save this world from the Satanic forces.Love is the only solution to all the problems.
    -A lovelorn Lass,
    Portia

    Reply
    • melissa

      While you and many of my friends are young, I feel how sensitive you are to the issues of the world, after experiencing the same dilemma in London. But you know this makes us one.

      Love you daughter of mine.

      Reply
  3. Sayanti

    good work ! 🙂

    Reply
    • melissa

      HI Sayanti, I don’t really reply to comments directly on a page the way I am doing now. It’s a good way to converse with other writers such as you.

      Thank you…as long as I’ve touched one person with my post, I’m already happy 🙂

      Reply
  4. melissa

    Thank you for making ‘fractio panis’ a part of your page NJ 🙂 It was good to stop and reflect on humanity for a while…

    Reply
  5. Savira

    Each of us hold the key to unlock the door to respecting, loving, caring for another individual… Before anything else we are all human beings…
    Dalai Lama was asked …” who are you”. His response was simple “am a human being then a man…”

    Reply
    • melissa

      Most of the times, I’d rather use the word ‘human’ than man (aside from the fact that femininity counts in the word)… Dalai Lama is a very wise ‘human’ indeed.

      Reply
  6. Sayon

    Heart touching.. Lovely!

    Reply
    • melissa

      I don’t get to see you often in a blog Sayon but I’m very happy I was able to invite you in so we could be together here.

      Thanks for the image you’ve shared to me. It’s very precious.

      Forever grateful.

      Reply
  7. Jan

    Wow powerful and thought provoking very well written.Thank you Melissa, for posting this.

    Reply
    • melissa

      Thanks Jan. We haven’t bonded a lot but your comments to my posts are well thought of and are very close to my heart.

      You are a very sensitive person :*

      Reply
  8. jerly

    suffering is everywhere and we put to “Mute” our sensitivities to protect ourselves from the pain

    Reply
    • melissa

      Oh that’s a unique way to put it Jerly. So if we could ‘mute’, we could also ‘pause’, ‘play’ and ‘stop’… hmmmm… More than not feeling the pain, I guess, is the fear we all have inside of becoming responsible for another human like us. It takes a lot of energy and time… and it’s pretty scary to move out of our comfort zones…so think a lot about it 😉

      Reply
  9. sancheeta biswas

    SOLITARY is a state of confinement in I. it grasps identity making us non-functional to the world around us.
    SOLIDARITY includes compassion, forgiveness, peace, humility, love. it is the union of interests, purpose and sympathies.
    now the path from solitary confinement commencing to solidarity is what i call HUMANITY.
    HUMANITY beholds her abandoned son, humanity holds her mother alone home.
    one post and you have spoken it all soul-sis. touched humanity in every way possible. all humans with God’s grace are potential enough to serve humanity. it is just that we need to change from I to US.

    Reply
    • melissa

      God created us that way and we move in passages and stages of growth… but unless we allow Him to work in our lives, we remain isolated in our cares and concerns…totally, focused on our own needs.

      I think you’ve grasped the concept and it’s a great conclusion to NJ’s comment section here.

      THANK YOU for journeying with me soul sis. I love you :*

      Reply
  10. sulekha

    A touching post on humanity by a compassionate writer, Melissa dear I really loved your post and it’s people like you and others like you who keep humanity alive. Loved this line, ” What holds the world in place right now are the very people who still believe in love, in sharing life “.

    A wonderful article by my sensitive friend.

    Reply
    • melissa

      Oh Sulekha, all I could say is, I found the most beautiful soul in you. And it flows in every word, every thought, post, reflection that you have. I thank God for being blessed with a spiritual companion such as you. You strengthen my spirit. I love you :*

      Reply
  11. rimly

    I agree with you humanity only exists because of those people that believe in love and can still hope and see the light coming from those crevices in the wall. Beautiful and compassionate post just like you soul sis

    Reply
    • melissa

      Oh soul sister, you’re too quick to agree with me while I still like to argue :P… just kidding.

      You are the embodiment of compassion… you have experienced a lot of things and yet, I wonder how you could keep that in your heart… ♥♥♥ you Rimly!

      Reply
  12. Jim brandano

    I am so glad I was back in time not to miss this.. This shows just who you are as a person and why so many people love you!! Your compassion and zeal are wonderful!!! I really loved Keating’s words.
    What you say about all of us coming together really hits home!!

    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/08/photographing-candid-childrens-photos.html

    Reply
    • melissa

      I am always eager to read your wise words Jim. Thank you very much as I learn a lot from you.

      Reply
  13. Kati

    Well said, I wish people would try to help each other one way or another. It seems this world is more cruel than wanting to help another human being. Even if we can’t the best thing to do is to pray for them.

    Reply
    • melissa

      Grazie Kati. As I said, perhaps, we’re just to afraid to move out of our comfort zones… but yes, prayers could help us.

      Reply
  14. Nelieta

    You are such a compassionate person Melissa and I am so happy to know you!People should take a page from your book about compassion and how to treat other people. I love this!

    Reply
    • melissa

      Thanks God Nelieta. It is more of God’s ways than mine 🙂

      Thank you… I love you too.

      Reply
  15. Martha Orlando

    It sounds trite to say, “Love is the answer”, but, truly, it is in this hurting, hateful, distrusting world. Beautiful prose, moving and profound!

    Reply
    • melissa

      Thank you Martha. I have yet to spend time with your devotions (blog page)… It is a simple four-letter word and it’s a verb 🙂 ♥♥♥♥

      Reply
  16. Adriene

    Really beautiful, Melissa. I think we all need the other, but we don’t know how to express it.

    Reply
    • melissa

      It takes random acts t learn to express it… do not hesitate to follow you heart. It’s the best teacher and guide. Thanks Adriene ♥

      Reply
  17. Jenni

    That was lovely Melissa. I don’t think we are meant to help everyone. Honestly who can but, we should help all that we can and generally be a good person to everyone we meet.

    Reply
    • melissa

      You are a very practical person and you have helped me take the light load…I’m not Christ nor superhuman. I’m not the savior of the people. Thank you Jenni :*

      Reply

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