Narratives for a Better Future
Edited by Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera
Chapter 18: Actors of goodness and hope in action
Hope is a drive that lies behind almost all actions that people perform. We need to have at least a slight amount of faith in the successful accomplishment of our efforts; otherwise no rational explanation can be offered for our acting. When we relate the results of our undertakings, we usually include something positive, believing that the achievement of given goals will affect us or others in a positive way. It gives us fulfilment. Hope can be seen as (active) anticipation. In this chapter the author tells stories presenting the actors of a social enterprise – the Southend Credit Union (SCU) – who are the participants of an ethnographic study. The SCU actors are so highly motivated to do good that despite all the obstacles they encounter on the way they manage to achieve their goals. They are idealists who are full of compassion for others and driven by hope that they may bring about positive change and encourage other people to follow them. Although they are aware that they are unable to right all the wrongs in the world, they also know that they cannot only be passive observers but need to try to change the status quo. They hold similar views to those of the famous Polish singer Czes_aw Niemen, who sang: ‘Strange is this world, where there is still so much evil. . . . But there are more people of goodwill and I strongly believe that this world will never die thanks to them.’ Such beliefs lead their actions not only within organizational frames but also in their private lives.
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