I wrote this post for She Loves Magazine last Thursday, the day that the UK went to the polls to vote on whether they want to remain part of the European Union. Well, we all know how that turned out. Honestly, it’s been a hugely emotional week, as we try and absorb all the implications for our little family as well as the nation as a whole. Really, no one has any idea what happens from hear on out.
But I stand by what I wrote last week, hopeful optimism and all. How do we follow the way of “grace-filled love instead of hatred, genuine collaboration instead of fear, surprising generosity instead of greed”? That’s what I’m still working to figure out every moment of my day.
Last summer I moved back to the UK with my little family, eight years after I left for an internship in Brussels. In those eight years, I lived in two capital cities, got married, had two children, and made friends from so many countries it’s impossible to keep count.
One of the unexpected bonuses of living in countries where my grasp of the local language was far from fluent, was the lack of “noise” in my life. I couldn’t understand people’s conversations at the bus stop or in the doctor’s waiting room, so I was free to assume they were having fascinating in depth discussions about art and literature. (Ha!) I couldn’t read the adverts on every billboard so I could ignore whatever the next thing to guarantee me happiness was. And I could rarely understand the newspaper headlines, so I effectively missed out on eight years of political rants and in-fighting.
I never expected that within a year of coming home to the UK, my fellow citizens would be asked to vote on whether to leave the European Union. Today, maybe even as you read this, I’ll be walking with my toddler and my baby, around the corner, under the railway line, to our nearest polling centre and putting my cross on a piece of paper with just two choices–In or Out. (Full disclosure: I am passionately IN).
Yes, I have strong opinions on this vote. (Not least, because it could have big consequences on the future for my little European family.) But more than that, I have been dismayed by the tone of the talk these past weeks and months. Far from any rational discussion of the pros and cons of leaving the EU, the conversation is marked by fear, greed and hatred. And sadly, that only seems to be a reflection of politics as a whole in this country. (And, may I be so bold, many others in the West.)
There’s a familiar illustration of the frog that gets put in a pot of water and slowly heated. It doesn’t jump out, because it doesn’t notice the temperature change and so it is cooked alive. I feel like the frog that has been dumped back into boiling water and I am desperately trying to jump out…
Read the rest of the post over at She Loves Magazine.