De temps en temps je vais traduire un post pour mes collègues anglophones. L'original de celui-ci est ici.
This is a French-language blog, but I have many friends and colleagues in the US and the UK right not, and I am thinking of them more than usual. So here is looking at all of you. I will be posting a few things in English, and you can translate the rest if you are interested.

Her shoes were inadequate and it was at the top of the pass that she sprained her ankle. Enough to need support walking down; not enough to call a helicopter. There were three of us with her: we made a makeshift bandage, then two of us supported her and one carried her bag. We rotated. The descent was long, rain started falling, night was coming fast.

We had alerted our fellow travelers in the village. Help started coming together around them. The lady at kiosk volunteered a place to stay for us: her father's house was halfway down the mountain. The owner of the hotel, from whom they expected nothing, took the seats out of his van and picked us up at the bottom of the slope just as darkness was becoming dangerous. He began by giving our injured companion a proper dressing-down: "What are those shoes on that pass? Irresponsible! "Then he put her in the back between cushions he'd prepared and drove us to the restaurant he had kept open for us. " See those men at the table over there? "He continued, "They're the mountain rescue volunteers. They waited and they would have taken risks for you. They should be with their families. Go and apologize to them! ». All the while he smiled, visibly relieved that there had been more fear than harm.

I remember that story with particular pleasure. First, these events followed a week-long philosophical seminar during which there had been intense talk about solidarity. What is it? Is it really a thing? "You Europeans" we were told, "you think you know what it is, but in Korea they have a completely different notion of it." Alright, I guess. But when I announced the hike, I made a joke that I expected them all to have a working understanding of solidarity by Monday morning. Little did I know.

By showing us a slice of solidarity in action, this story illustrated some interesting aspects. First, it's not about kindness. There are no victims or heroes here: instead, there is a community in which something is expected - something different but something - from everyone. The innkeeper yells at the injured woman to point out that she has failed in her duty: to limit her need for the common pool. There's no question of not helping her. When she arrives she should apologize, sure, but leave her without help? Unthinkable! In this story, people name each others' efforts: we are told who does what, what efforts are made by whom. Solidarity, like many of our behaviors, is contagious. We contribute more easily to common efforts if we know that others are doing the same. If we think we are alone, we give up more quickly.

We forget this last point too much. Solidarity is one of those life-forms that wither in the dark. The story that human beings are fundamentally selfish and that solidarity is naïve or imaginary, is very present in our times. We should be concerned about that. This narrative does not reflect reality correctly; here, scientific data are consistent with our everyday observations. People tend to help one another. We see it all around us. When we believe that solidarity is fiction, however, it does tend to become so. In medicine, we see this frequently. Our paediatricians are reluctant to put forward cohort immunity in support of vaccination. Our researchers, in explaining the issues involved in clinical trials, rarely mention the solidarity dimension of participation. We see so many instances of solidarity at the bedside, we rarely tell our tales. And so, step by step, we too encourage the idea that solidarity a naive, somewhat imaginary thing. It's a pity. Our story reflects another reality: solidarity is a concrete, hard-working and demanding thing. It requires everyone to do their part, even the person being helped.

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