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  • 23 Dec 2020 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings”. Discuss the role played by Emotional intelligence in achieving it. (250 words)

    • Briefly discuss the concept of solidarity in Introduction.
    • Mention the importance of solidarity in the evolution of ethics.
    • Discuss the role of elements Emotional Intelligence in achieving it.
    • Conclude suitably.


    • Solidarity is a value which enables individuals in society to live with equality, dignity and ensure larger unity. This value is imperative for the evolution of ethics in a rapidly changing world.
    • Having a sense of solidarity with humans improves ethical decisions by imbibing values like empathy, tolerance and compassion.


    Importance of Solidarity

    • Solidarity forms the basis of the evolution of ethics in society as:
      • Ethics is a group concept: Presence of a sense of solidarity is needed to form a societal group which is a basic requirement for ethics to exist.
      • Formation of ethical values: The formation of the value system of the society is due to the contribution by members of society.
      • Changing ethical values: Act of disobedience with the prevalent values can lead to change in such values as done by socio-religious reform movements in the 19th century.
      • Enforcing ethical conduct: A person resists to violate the ethical values due to the fear of getting expelled from society. This fear arises due to the fact that humans feel a sense of bond with others.
      • Accountability and responsibility: Solidarity in human beings leads to their sensitization towards others. Such changes make them more and more accountable and responsible for their actions. Accountability and responsibility, when coming from inside of an individual, can transform the face of the society.

    Role of elements of Emotional Intelligence in achieving solidarity among humanity.

    • Self-Awareness: Self-awareness is the ability to honestly reflect on and understand one’s emotions, strengths, challenges, motives, values, goals, and dreams. This attribute inculcates tolerance which is the prerequisite of establishing solidarity in any society.
    • Self-Regulation: It is about controlling one’s emotions i.e. instead of reacting quickly; one can rein in one’s emotions and think before responding. This is necessary to sustain long lasting peace among humanity.
    • Internal Motivation: It includes one’s personal drive to improve and achieve commitment to one’s goals, initiative, or readiness to act on opportunities, and optimism and resilience. Humanity cannot achieve socio-economic development without such motivation of betterment of not just self but also
    • Empathy: It is an awareness of the needs and feelings of others, both individually and in groups, and being able to see things from the point of view of others. In these times of attrition at national and international level, empathy is a necessary virtue for conflict resolution.
    • Social Skills: It refers to applying empathy and balancing the wants and requirements of others with one’s own. It includes building a good rapport with others.

    Other Attributes

    • Enhancing general well being: Having a high EI does not only help in leadership, relationship management, and conflict resolution but it also makes you aware of your emotional state. Only by being aware of our emotional state and our reactions to stress in our lives can we hope to manage stress and maintain good health. Being emotionally intelligent can also affect our mental well-being positively. Thus could enhance an individual’s contribution to the society one lives in.
    • Enables focusing on greater goals: Besides, emotionally intelligent people tend to be more successful. Higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators, which can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better networks of support, delay gratification and see the long-term directly affects our ability to succeed together.


    • Evolution of ethics, therefore, starts with a feeling of solidarity towards each other and then individual ethics transforms into ethics of the society and eventually of the nation.
    • An ethical nation is stronger because every citizen is aware of his/her actions and its consequences. As Swami Vivekananda has said -"If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practised, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we would have vanished."
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