Hope is an action


“I know in times like this you feel it doesn’t make a difference but keep showing up because hope is an action.”

~ Florence Welch

Sometimes a single line can move one person or many.

Last week I joined 20,000 or so people to see Florence and the Machine perform at the O2 arena in North Greenwich, London. Florence Welch is a South London girl so was on home ground. On the other hand, she is, from her towering voice to her ethereal presence as she floats across the stage barefoot, absolutely other-worldly.

That same week she played in Manchester at the arena where a suicide bomb attack happened at another concert almost exactly eighteen months prior. The line above was quoted in an excellent review of the concert in the Manchester Evening News.

With a different context, talking about toxic masculinity, Florence had also used the line “hope is an action” when she spoke to the crowd in London. That line really moved me. Hope IS an action.

Sometimes I am referred to by friends as “Pollyanna-ish”, as in a famous literary character who chose to always see the good in people and situations. From the wikipedia entry, it is a “popular term for someone with the same very optimistic outlook: a subconscious bias towards the positive is often described as the Pollyanna principle.

I absolutely identify with that character assessment. I do look to see the good in things.

Naturally, I can also balance this with pragmatism, so I am an idealist, a romanticist if you will, and also someone who also looks to what it will take to create such realities pragmatically, however, I do have that “subconscious bias to the positive”.

What is the alternative, however, perhaps: “When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.” This line is actually from the original book, Pollyanna so we can see the contrast from that subconscious bias to the positive to a bias to the negative.

Flipping this to leadership, I know what type of person I’d rather follow.

Florence Welch is biased towards believing in the positive in people, so yes, I’m with you Florence:

“Hope is an action”




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