Today everybody in the UK woke to find that we had voted to leave the EU in the Referendum yesterday. Like many, I am shocked and quite frankly fearful of the ramifications of this result. Yet I know my parents feel the exact opposite and voted, just as I did, for what they felt was the best for our country, even though we both voted for opposite sides. So where does that leave us, as a family and as a nation?
For weeks the country has felt divided, with opinions and gut reactions leading many of the arguments rather than clear facts. It became almost impossible to find information backed by research from a variety of sources, and combined with the high emotions felt by a disillusioned electorate, it seems understandable that the nation would vote based on almost instinctive reactions.
I mean, let’s look at the polls leading up to the referendum. Most of them showed very distinct patterns with, for example, the younger generation generally voting in favour of remaining in the EU and the older generations voting to leave. Both sides believed they were making a sound decision. For instance, I spoke to someone at work who told me she was voting to leave because she felt it best for her grandchildren, yet I was voting to remain because I felt that was best for my child.
I know that this is how referendums and voting in general works, you always vote for what you think is best, but it seems to have been so polarized this time around. You just have to look at the end results to see that – the Leave campaign may have won with the “majority” of the votes, but that majority was 51.9% of those who voted… 48.1% voted for the exact opposite outcome and that’s a very small margin, just over 1 million votes in it. So clearly, the nation remains divided in its reaction to the referendum result – half are ecstatic and half are entirely disappointed.
It was pretty clear all along that this was going to be the case, as it’s been a closely run battle from the start. Whichever way it had swung, half the population were going to be disappointed. I’m not even going to try and pretend that if the Remain side had won there wouldn’t have been similar feelings this morning – the only real difference would have been that finding a new way to work together in harmony, bringing the two sides together once more, would have played out on a UK-only stage rather than the world-stage as it is currently doing. So again, I ask, where does this leave us?
Well, I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that amongst all the comments I’ve seen this morning across social media, the ones that stand out the most are the ones calling for unity. Those that are asking for us to come together, even in a time of division, because change is hard on anyone. And the next few years are going to be full of uncertainty and change, and we’re going to need to come together and find our common goals in order to make it through as best we can. And I do believe that we have common goals, that we all essentially want the same thing, don’t you?
Let’s build a bridge, not a wall
Deep inside the heart of me
there is a place of truth,
A place that wants the best for us
it’s what I’ll always choose.
But life is never black and white,
there is no right and wrong,
Let’s put aside our differences
together we stand strong.
I know I made my choice today
based on a heartfelt truth,
And you, I know, did just the same
your heart helped you to choose.
So many feelings, good and bad
were thrown into the fray,
Love and fear went head to head
and logic fell away.
So let us all remember now
that feelings hold the power,
We cannot let our fear win out
this is the crucial hour.
Let us instead choose love to win
and with it hope and peace,
And promise to our children now
that love will never cease.
For we have chosen what we thought
was best for them and us,
So let us all unite today
and make sure that it does.
Don’t let our actions at this time
go down in history,
Filled with anger and regret
and marked with misery.
So come together, side by side
let’s work together now,
There’s got to be a better way
and we’ll find it somehow.
For you and I, we’re just the same
we want the best for all,
So let us build a bridge between
our sides, and not a wall.
I’ve written another post over on Spirit Kid Network, inspired by Little Man’s beautiful words, “I love all the people” that he shared with me Friday night before bed. Let’s nurture that loving acceptance of all people!