Hope generates prosperity


Recently while cleaning out some of my bookshelves, I revisited the book “Agenda for Hope: Sharing Prosperity”, a collection of ideas on building a nation. Containing ideas from various writers, this collection published by Ateneo de Manila shares insights and reflections to offer an agenda for hope in building, developing and sharing the country’s wealth.

What struck me about most of their proposals is that they all revolve around sharing – sharing time, talent, energy, and resources – as the way to breathe new life into one’s community. I will summarize some of these ideas with the hope that they may stimulate you, the reader, to fresh ideas and dynamic action to generate prosperity in your life and the life of your community.

A Bayanihan Economy promotes a form of “solidarity economy” that focuses on the human instinct for goodness, for caring, and sharing. Author C. Habito posits that the basis of this kind of economy is social responsibility, and its pillars are socially responsible investments, finance, and enterprises. Human responsibility and servant leadership are to provide the ethical and moral bases for various groups to develop programs and activities that are compassionate, competent, and socially relevant for the community.

In the economy of communion, as described by M. Perez and F. Aldaba, as businesses create wealth, the profits generated from them must be utilized for the betterment of society. Everyone involved, from the employers to the workers to the public, need to be infected with the culture of sharing and giving. In this way a decent and honest living will be had by all.

Be an entrepreneur. Not just an ordinary sari-sari store type entrepreneur, but a social entrepreneur. The article on Social Entrepreneurship gives examples wherein the social entrepreneurs reconcile individuality and nature, bringing together each person and the rest of society by bridging the gaps of humanity that presently exist in every community. Social entrepreneurs challenge the prevailing system through a constructive revolution, a transformation where everyone has the opportunity to work and build another, better community/world. There are lots of positive ideas in this article by La Vina, Keh, Santos and Senajon.

John Gokongwei, Jr. exhorted the Ateneo graduating class of 2004 in his commencement address to them: “We need young people who will find the idea, grab the opportunity, take risks and set aside comfort to set up businesses that will provide jobs. Jobs that allow people to feel useful and build their self-esteem; jobs that harness the creativity and talents of all concerned in the community to achieve a common, productive good.”

Author Vistro-Yu says that we must hone our servant-leadership skills and live an example of a service-oriented lifestyle whether at work, at home, or in school. Partnership, collaboration, a give-and-take relationship should be at the core of our interaction with each other. He believes that as we empower ourselves and others, we will be sustained and uplifted by the shared energy of creation.

All these authors in this little book truly believe that hope of a better future must be an active hope that will generate prosperity for all concerned.