Values of the Week – Solidarity

“The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.”  Albert Schweitzer

The name of Lech Walesa will for many of us conjure up pictures of the Polish shipyard of Gdansk during the early 1980s.  He was the leader of a dissident trade union, called Solidarity, the first of its kind in the Soviet Union. Solidarity is considered to have contributed greatly to the fall of Communism. Lech Walesa became President of Poland and served between 1990 – 1995 and he also received the Nobel Peace Prize.

I find it fascinating that the word solidarity was chosen as the name of a movement for change.  Solidarity means having a unity of agreement among individuals, arising from common responsibilities and interests. It also means having a commitment to enhancing the welfare of all.  

It is noticeable that during times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a tension between self-interest and solidarity.  Solidarity however is one of the most important values in building a civilised society. An understanding of solidarity helps people to care for each other. It is attributed to humanity’s evolution, reflecting a time when groups with higher levels of solidarity were more likely to survive. 

This week, I am taking part in two on-line events that could help develop a greater sense of solidarity in humanity, about the role that values play in human flourishing.  

The first on Thursday 15th October, is to celebrate World Values Day. I am joining an international panel, who will be discussing how to bring values to life in organisations and systems. It would be wonderful if you could join us.  Please click on the link to hear me talking about this amazing event

World Values Day

The second event, on Friday 16th October, is the annual conference of Values-based Education (VbE). This international educational movement seeks to create solidarity by inspiring schools and other institutions to be values-based. You can find details of the conference by clicking on  I hope you can attend.

VbE Annual Conference

Those of you who know me, will be aware that I am passionate about how values can enhance our lives and those of others. The challenging problems of our times will, in my view, only be solved if we have greater solidarity between all people – it begins with our thoughts and actions today!