I’ve been in two minds about whether to post anything about the EU referendum. It’s been a crazy few days for the UK and opinions have been bouncing here, there and everywhere like popcorn. Does the Internet really need another opinion on this, I thought?
Then I decided, yes, I do have something to say and if it gives anyone the slightest shred of positivity, then I will be glad that I have said it.
Whatever your opinion, strong or indifferent, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the hate and anger – on either side of this issue. And that can never end well. So, as many level headed people of all opinions have stated – this is now a time for everyone, whatever their stance, to take a step back, take stock and reflect, before moving forward together.
I don’t know about you, but something about taking a step back also makes me feel hopeless in this situation.
And how do we move forward together with so many apparent divisions?
I’m afraid I don’t have any grand solutions or ideas and that is not what this post is about. What I do know is that this whole issue has made me reflect and think about the future.
The future of my home country, a country we hope to return to. The future of my children. The future of all of our children. The future of the next generation.
It has made me think about what we can do to protect our children’s future as part of a tolerant, respectful society, full of opportunity.
It has made me think what we can do as parents. As teachers. As aunties, as uncles. As anyone in society responsible for the care and nurturing of our children.
How can we help protect our children’s future?
This whole messy and complicated issue has made me reflect on the one parenting mantra that I always come back to.
Be the person you want them to be.
It’s not easy (no one said it would be) but I genuinely believe that it is only through parents and adults modelling the kind of behaviour we would like to see in our own and others children, whilst continually seeking to improve our own behaviour, that we can positively influence the new generation. That, amongst many other things of course, is one way we CAN help to determine our children’s future. And reflecting on this has made me feel a little less hopeless this week. I hope it might inspire you too.
So, for my own children, for the children I have taught, for the children of the UK and, well everywhere really, this is for you…
I am not perfect, I am only human after all. But this is the person that I am, that I try to be and that I continually hope to be. I hope you can be even better.
I am interested in what other people have to say. I try my best to listen, even when I find it hard. Even when my own problems seem to take up my world.
Try to listen.
I try to understand other people’s point of view. Even when what someone is saying seems so alien or even wrong to me.
Try to understand.
I am kind and caring. Sometimes it comes naturally, sometimes it doesn’t. I try to see the best in others. Even when they make it hard for me.
Look for the good.
I think for myself. I have my own opinion, whilst respecting that others have theirs. I try to think about when I should voice that opinion and when I should stay quiet. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes not.
Stay true to yourself.
I am happy – most of the time. I choose to be happy. I try to be grateful for the many people and opportunities in my life. I hope and strive to be more grateful and truly appreciate each moment.
Be happy. You never know when life is going to change course.
I am unhappy, sometimes – and that’s okay too. I allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel. I tell someone how I feel and try to work out why.
Reflect on your feelings.
I try to be patient. Even when I want to scream and shout (and sometimes I do) I try to take a step back before I respond.
Think first, act later.
I say what I mean and mean what I say. I try to not argue, or fight. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. I apologise when I am wrong. I recognise when I have made a mistake.
Always try to do better.
I learn from the past. My own and others. I try to learn from the lessons, the wisdom, the mistakes.
History is the only guide we have to lead us into the future.
I love my family. I love my friends. I also remember myself.
I hope, I dream, I strive. For myself, for my family, for the world. I try to do better.
Hope, dream and strive to do better.
I respect myself. I respect others. Whatever their age, history, colour, gender, sexuality, nationality, profession or status. Even when I find it hard I look for the respect within me.
Respect costs nothing, but means everything.
I try, with all my might, to be the person I want you to be. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes I can do better. But I always try.
I am not perfect, I am only human after all. I make mistakes, I have flaws and I have failures. But this is the person that I am, that I try to be and that I hope to be.
I hope you can be even better than me.
When you too are feeling small and hopeless, powerless to make a change. This is the power you have…
You have the power to be the person you want others to be.
I don’t know how this crisis in Britain is all going to end. But through my fears and hopes, let me always remember that I can make a difference to my children’s future. And it starts with me.
Has the EU crisis made you reflective? How do you aim to be a good role model for your kids?