I has been just over a week since the historical result of the Referendum here in England..... and all week long I have been listening to radio shows (airing peoples opposing opinions) news programs, (reporting daily events) and people posting contending views all over Facebook. It seems that every person around the world has a view on this subject and has a judgement as to what is right or wrong, or what should or shouldn't have happened.
Many people can't make sense of what just played out here and are either confused or angry as to why the majority of a country would vote to leave from a union of countries which was initially designed to bring economic and political stability to a large part of the western world.
The media of course has also done its part in twisting, hyping and stirring every conceivable arguement... warping opinion and making what is already a highly sensitive matter even more divisive and inflammatory.
A small percentage of the people who voted "remain" are petitioning and rallying forces for a second referendum and even smaller number of the "leavers" have reared their ugly heads and have exhibited appalling racist behaviour in and around Britain. Many people in Europe are feeling let down by the decision to leave the E.U and are angry at Britain for making such a choice.
I'm no politician... but when I take in to consideration everything I have heard and seen throughout the months previous to the referendum, and since, I would like to offer an alternative way of perhaps explaining or thinking about it to those of you who are still reeling in the wake and wondering why the majority of the populous decided to vote leave.
Bear with me.....
Maybe you can imagine for a moment an alternative E.U...
This union comprises of the whole of North, Central and South America... the A.C.U
(American Continent Union!!) and consists of all the countries they contain. You have three countries that are perhaps a little more influential (United States, Brazil, Canada) and they provide leadership and financial support to the rest.....oh, and its all regulated and governed out of Panama where union headquarters are housed.
You have all of these Cultures, traditions and languages and the idea is for everyone to have a trading agreements and quota system, common currency (managed by a single and Independent central bank) and all member states would have to align their national laws and rules governing their national central banks and monetary issues. The smaller struggling economies being subsidized by the larger ones. Everyone within the union can travel, live, work and trade where ever they choose within the union.
Do you think that it would work? Do you think that everyone within those countries would feel happy.... that everything was fair and equitable and that languages, cultures, heritages would all be maintained and not lost?
So what does this have to do with caring?
Now let me make another analogy....
As a carer (to our daughter Heni.. see her story part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here & part 4 here) you tend to give a lot out willingly to help other people you care about. After all its the right decent thing to do and it seems like a good idea to help other people who are having difficulties, to help ease and lift burdens and to apply love, charity and service.
I have however noticed something over the 21 years of caring for our daughter that is common to the caring role. I have noticed that gradually your energies drain, you become more physically and emotionally depleted after coping so long with the level of service that this role requires. Along with this, comes a loss of identity, choice and personal empowerment and there very often comes a time when you reach a "breaking point" decision and something has to change. You reach the point where some re-evaluation has to take place as to the level of output that you can realistically maintain... and that you are capable of giving. You still give out a lot (that doesn't stop) but it's perhaps no longer on the scale it once was... that level was unrealistic and down right dangerous.... and if continued, would be detrimental to both physical and emotional health.
You realize that everyone is going to suffer if your energy keeps depleting and going down hill. There has to be a decision of self care, self preservation and self rejuvenation.... a time of building yourself back up, reinventing yourself... to be able to cope with ongoing demands.
Now All this doesn't mean that you love the person you are caring for any less than you did, it also doesn't mean you no longer want to give help when they need it.... it just means you have to be a little wiser as to how you do things. In doing so you hope that others will respect the fact that you need help, you need time to rebuild, time to figure out who you are again and you need to take on less of the load of caring..... perhaps only for a season....perhaps longer... so you can give out in a more appropriate sustainable way.
Maybe some people (because of you transferring some of the load on to them) will think that you are lazy.... they may think that you are opting out or don't care any more? Perhaps some people would get angry that you are not around so much to help out in the same way? They may even think that you are rather selfish.
It would make you feel very sad.... but your decision would have to be based on current need and not on others opinions. You would hope that others would be understanding of those needs, be caring, willing to help however they can, step up and help you and bear you no grudge.
What then has this got to do with the E.U?
A lot of people voted with an end result in mind... but perhaps as many people voted ... not for what they wanted (a particular party or leader etc)... but rather for what they wanted to avoid.... namely burnout, lack of empowerment, and loss of identity.
I hope that you will bear in mind the two analogies above and come to your own ideas and conclusions (as we all have that right) but I believe that it all boils down to the fact that Great Britain needs a little bit of time....there is a time to give out and there is a time to replenish and rebuild. Britain needs time to figure out who it has become, and to rebuild it's identity of who it would rather be.... to reinvent itself, replenish and restore energy and resources..... and get some respite!
Sometimes you just know that you can't just keep going with things as they currently are and something needs to change. I believe that Great Britain has a huge heart, it has always been generous in lifting others burdens, providing charity and helping those less fortunate when ever they needed it.... I believe it will continue to do so... it will still love it's neighbours, welcome brothers and sisters of other nations.... and always care.
There are more important things than money and trading agreements and Great Britain just exhibited one of them... it became even greater when it recognized and made a very difficult and courageous decision. That decision was to take a leap of faith and instigate an act of self care, self preservation and self rejuvenation. It was a decision to take time to build itself back up, reinvent itself, become empowered again and I also believe that it did it all, eventually...... for the greater good.
In a week where we have seen a Prime Minister Resign, an opposition party fall apart, stock markets take a tumble and Boris Johnson go AWOL ....and then.... England suffer its worst humiliation yet...... against Iceland (football!)........ I would hope that the onlookers to the referendum will feel a little more compassionate, helpful and have understanding hearts of our choices and predicament...... AND allow us the time we need ...while we go figure it all out!