Hope manifests as a prophet

Social volunteering distinguishes from social workers in that it is not exerted as a profitable profession and because it is a subsidized activity. It cannot be compared to public assistance, altruism or charity actions for religious purposes. All of them are respectable and convenient for those who take part on them because these actions help them feel better by practicing virtues without motivation being important.
But the practice of these social virtues is not always dominated by passion for justice that needs to lay the foundations the action of social volunteering and run the risk of institutionalizing the effects by putting a mask on the causes. The benefactors, with the best will, can becomes accomplices of the system that originates these injustices that need to be denounced in order that alternative proposals come about.
Solidarity is not but a response to unjust inequalities by making the misfortune of others our own. Others can never be the objects of our generosity. The other is always a subject who pleads, who is more a person than an individual, who can always become the means for an end. The other is always an end by itself.
The social volunteer does not always move for religious or political motives, he moves for the fundamental ethics of justice, liberty and solidarity.
Social justice is the foundation in which volunteering roots itself as a sociological phenomenon that emerged in the seventies, when the appearance of drug addiction emerged as another sociological phenomenon, and not as a vice or a felony. Social volunteering as fact and drug addiction as phenomena is not the work of leaders or prophets, nor the result of a strategy of drug dealers. They are the responses of civil society to a reality that is perceived as unfair or personally insurmountable. In some cases, it will be the service to others that will ease tension and, in others, the desperate escape from a situation that manifests itself as overwhelming. Cause should never be confused with means. The Organizations of Civil society emerge as the vehicles to canalize in some instances and in others, drug dealers sustain the demand of a market. Sometimes hope manifests as a prophet, of committed people who denounce injustice while they get together and look for alternative proposals.

José Carlos Gª Fajardo

Este artículo fue publicado en el Centro de Colaboraciones Solidarias (CCS) el 02/02/2004