72% of the UK have had their say. Card in hand, they flocked to polling stations in unprecedented numbers, to exercise their right (and responsibility) to vote. They battled (some of them) through thunderous, flooding, torrents in order to make their opinion known, and speculation was rife as to which side would win.
To the astonishment of all (it seems), by a slender majority, the public voted to leave the European Union; a decision which has sent the nation, the continent, and the world, reeling. Some voters are now wishing they could retract their votes and pick differently. There are lots of sweeping generalisations being flung around social media about ‘most of the country’ being idiots/racists. The teenagers are (allegedly) very upset at their forbears. The older generation (who remember the previous vote about joining Europe, and how narrowly it squinched in) seem to have mostly taken the chance to change what they did way back when. The political parties are trading insults and gloats. The Prime Minister is resigning. The pound plummeted in value, as have stocks. As, perhaps has confidence in the UK as a nation.
The people are reeling, and emotions are running very high on both sides.
This is big. BIG big. The repercussions have already begun and who knows how far the ripples will reach. Or for how long. Or with what effect.
I’m not politically astute enough to form a proper opinion without help. I know there were intelligent, eloquent arguments on both sides. I know there were respectable, well-educated people in both camps. I know there was also a lot of misdirection and some outright lies in both campaigns, particularly in Leave, and I know there were ignorant people who voted in possession of only a hazy and very biased view of the facts. None of that undermines the validity of some of the reasons for leaving. None of that undermines the validity of some of the reasons for staying.
I know that in the run-up to the vote, I switched sides several times, as my opinion was swayed by persuasive arguments from people I knew and respected. Even today, in the aftermath, my outlook has changed from one of shock and mild horror, to something I can only describe as cautiously optimistic. If they go ahead and leave, hopefully the government will put robust policies in place to effect the change, and if they’re smart, we won’t abandon all of the thoroughly GOOD legislation which has arisen from being part of the EU. If, on the way to leaving, it all seems to be going to hell in a hand-basket, perhaps there will be time to sit back, cool our heels, and rethink matters (perchance we’re given the opportunity to say we got it wrong, and please would the EU mind very much if we remained). Whatever happens, whatever government arises to serve its people, I HOPE that there will be a pulling-together, a unification, somehow, of what appears currently very divided. There are #SilverLinings to be found in every situation.
The voting is done. We’ve made our decision. Now it’s time to pull our socks up, wind our necks in, and make the best of it. For all our sakes.
I’m glad for a platform to add my tuppence to the conversation. It’s big conversation, far over my head, but I’m glad it’s being had. I’m extremely glad for the instances I’ve seen where people have approached the news with grace and dignity, whichever side they were on (or whether they were an interested bystander). I’m proud of the people who have responded with compassion, kindness, and understanding towards the people who, in the aftermath of this decision, will be feeling anxious and uncomfortable, their futures now in question. I’m so thankful for every instance where people have spoken out to promote unity and togetherness, and the value of recognising the humanity in others, whatever might be spouted by the ignorant, the fearful, and the prejudiced.
I’m happy to be part of a democracy, and that the struggles of people in bygone years, who stood up and said “NOT OKAY” when women weren’t considered eligible voters, meant I was able to take my polling card to my local polling station and mark my X next to my preference. I’m thankful for the record-breaking 72% of people who also took the opportunity to do likewise. I’m apprehensive about what the future holds, but I think, done right, it has the potential to be a good thing.
I’m also excited because Real, Tangible steps were made towards getting my visa sorted to come to the USA for massage therapy training. I’m SUPER excited because my assignments are going to start soon, beginning the 8 weeks of underpinning theory and history.
I’m also pleased because after a few days of inexplicable physical wipe-out, I was able to get back to the gym.
I’m VERY glad I read a useful e-book on nutrition (free, by dietician Juliet Schaffer), which let me know I wasn’t fuelling my body right, and that I was able to take steps to rectify this. And that one of the crew members at the gym was able to give me further advice. Protein shakes (vegan) and peanut butter will now become staples in my diet, as protein and good fats were severely lacking. I’m even, even gladder my attitude is about health, not self-loathing. A big BIG change for me, and a much more peaceful one.
I’m excited I got to enter a poetry competition. I’m relieved that ‘things slipping through the cracks’ no longer sends me off the deep end.
I’m super-glad for the lovely times I was able to spend with my Sis this week, and that I’ve been around and able to support her when she’s needed it. I’m even gladder I get to go back next week for another dinner-and-a-movie.
I’m MEGA super-glad for the friends with whom I have such sustaining, delightful, daily connections – whose lives are intricately, and hopefully inextricably (!), entwined with mine.
I’m even glad for the busy weekend I have ahead of me; with a work conference all day Saturday, and the pleasure of Niece and Neff’s company on Sunday.
And I’m thankful EVERY weekend for you all, the wonderful TToT community I’ve come to appreciate so much.