Friday, 24 June 2016

looking to the next conversation

I am sad.

I am sad for those who have experienced the challenges but not known the benefits of intercultural exchange and immigration.
For all who have never had the opportunity to reap the benefits of Europe, or for whatever reason feel they haven't.
For a country which has decided it is better on its own.

I am sad for all who are heading towards a future they didn't choose and don't want.
For all who feel unwelcome in the places they have come to call home.
For all who fear for the jobs, families, and friendships which might become just that bit more complicated.

I am sad for a politics which has been dependent on a polarising rhetoric of fear.
For a dialogue where personal gain triumphs over concern for one another.
For communities and a country divided against themselves.

I am sad for those who are jubilant to a point of not being able to see other people's pain.
For those whose anger risks becoming a destructive force
For those who are no longer sure what to feel.

I am sad for all who are left wondering where next.

But whatever else can be said, there will definitely be a where next.

And if this is all about the country having its say, then it's time for all of us to have our say in where we want that next place to be.

I wonder whether we will be able to do so with maturity, dignity and love for one another. I wonder whether all sides will have the humility to listen to those with whom we fervently disagree. I wonder whether we will be able to recognise the very real fractures that scar our country and head towards a place of real healing. I wonder whether we can still build a future based on hope and love rather than hatred and fear.

This morning I am sad. But this afternoon, I want to be part of that conversation. I am sure I have a lot of listening to do. I know I have plenty to say.

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