Today we have woken up to a new Europe – seemingly broken. Britain has spoken and she has decided that she must leave the European Union.
It’s no secret that I voted to #remain. I truly believe that we are stronger together and I honestly didn’t think that promises made by the #leave campaign could be achieved…and we’re starting to see that unravel less than 24 hours after the vote with some #leave officials doubting they can really deliver after all. I also felt that much of the #leave campaign was based on racist, divisive and fearful rhetoric. I accept the result because that’s what the slim majority wanted. However the process over the last year has brought up deeper seated issues that need to be explored if we are to build a new Britain together.
Regardless, both sides made mistakes …mistakes rooted in fear….fear that people no longer recognise because we’ve become so desensitized and less empathetic in recent years.
Both Matt and I saw this coming well over a year ago. I respect the decision to have the vote although I suspect David Cameron’s reason behind his decision to do so was based on fear because the numbers of Conservative MPs defecting to UKIP was rising. Did he make the decision to go for a referendum to slow the defections down? Was he trying to prove his power and worth by arrogantly taking a massive gamble? On the other hand giving power to the people was a bold move and in some ways it was democratic. Unlike a general election – EVERY vote counted last night. However, the whole thing lacked structure and I think many of the decisions made were made out of fear.
Someone shared this quote with me today which was very apt – “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.” (not sure who it’s by!). I believe that many have lost sight of what democracy is and what it means to live in a democracy. Perhaps they don’t even understand what democracy is in the first place? Being a democratic citizen requires the best of us. It requires us to make EDUCATED and wise choices based on the hard facts…not opinion or scapegoating and certainly not fear.
The seeming scare mongering, empty promises, hate and fear slung from both sides of the campaign is what has affected me the most because it has prevented some from really understanding their choices and making wise decisions. We didn’t see much in the way of love and unity expressed. Did this behavior demonstrate what it means to be a citizen of the UK? Maybe what is needed is a deeper understanding of democracy in it’s purest form….not politics….democracy….there’s a difference!
More importantly, the ramifications of fear are not understood by most. Often people don’t even recognize that what they are feeling is rooted in fear. I believe that an individually fear-based mindset can lead to collective fear…we see that in our workplaces everyday. Where there is fear-based leadership, there are fearful employees.
Our nation is no different. Fear-based leaders in government (and in our media) have helped to breed a collective fearful mindset. All the brain research shows that a fear-based mindset leads to miopic thinking. So if we truly want to transform our systems from a deeper place we have to address fear first or run the risk of continuing to run on this never ending fear-based treadmill. This is what needs to be addressed first and foremost.
Thinking from a place of freedom brings healing, brings a greater depth of understanding and a wider more expansive view. That’s what is needed now. We can’t rebuild Britain with the same thinking that got us to where we are today.
It could be easy to make hasty decisions and say – that’s it – we’re moving for good now. Yet we’re both feeling the need to take our time, do our research and carefully consider where we can most contribute to the world…perhaps here in our temporary (fast becoming more than that!) home of Mexico, or our home in France. Right now we don’t see our future in the UK but that could change in time. There needs to be a cooling off period where we and Britain learn to love each other again!
Part of me wonders how we can contribute to UK society to drive out fear and division and breed unity and community. However, for the first time in a long time, selfishly I feel it’s time for us to stay right where we are and watch from a far!
Where does the UK go from here? Who knows….I just hope and pray that the electorate realise that there is a need for education and a radical shift in mindset if we are to build trust in each other let alone figure out a plan for a post-EU future.
While this vote may seem to lead Europe into a time of uncertainty and a deeply divided United Kingdom, no vote will ever stop me from feeling British and European in my heart. And ultimately a global citizen.