In Search of Hope Amidst the Fear...


This has been my impression of much of the horrendously-named 'Brexit' interplay in recent weeks, sadly from both sides of the 'debate'. 

I don't propose to argue this here - the media bias, the appalling lack of facts and the misleading information are all worth discussing, but they miss the central plank of why voting is important, and why we need to disregard the spin from both camps. 

The central question I would ask you is this: Do you want a world moving towards a more peaceful future, or do you want one fragmenting further into chaos? It's a loaded question, and I'll make no bones about it, because it ignores all of the noise and distraction to focus on what I believe is the key historical argument.

When we look backwards in time, throughout human history, we see vested interests pitting person against person. It doesn't matter whether the causes are religion, expansionism, tribalism or conflict over resources, the fact is that much of human history is washed in the blood shed by conflict. Moments of peace are found where humankind is focussed on shared values, shared goals, shared understanding. 

Nothing has changed today. Politicians, dictators, despots and CEOs are frequently responsible for putting their own short-term interests ahead of the people they should be serving, and of humanity as a whole.

So, as our planet faces increasingly significant challenges on a global scale (climate change, availability of water, income inequality and women's rights to name but a few, the list can be daunting), and as the tools available to shed blood in the name of ideology, ego and greed become ever more powerful (and insidious), we must reach a watershed, a point where we begin to grow beyond our tribal roots and start to embrace our fundamental humanity. 

This is the crux of things as I see them. It's not about money (flaws on both sides), it's not about lack of democratic process (until we have a properly implemented form of PR we won't really have that anywhere), it's not about ego (plenty on both sides). It's really about whether you hold so firmly to your idea of 'tribe' that you can't embrace the humanity around you, and come together to help keep us moving towards peace, in however a faltering way we move there. It's about whether your fear of 'other' will stop you reaching out in the darkness, to find other hands also reaching for you.

It's about whether your fear is stronger that your hope.

(Important Note: While I'm clearly pro-Remain, I'm personally appalled by some of the mismanagement by the EU, the treatment of Greece and the handling of the Syrian refugee crisis, amongst other concerns. The current system is a long way from perfect, so it's important to recognise that a vote to remain isn't a vote for the status quo, it's a vote recognising that it's the best foundation that we have to work from, that we need to keep moving forwards, hand in hand, from the darkness into the light.)