Like 48.1% of the UK population I awoke on Friday morning to news which worried me and made me feel quite despondent. As some high profile Leave campaigners seemed to retract on alleged promises made, I began to get more annoyed. I have been annoyed for much of the weekend.
However an interesting conversation with our Senior Leader and Admin Officer about the need for calm thinking and collaborative action, to address potential issues of scaremongering and xenophobia with rational thought and measured actions moved me on in my responses. This opportunity to reflect was continued during our weekly church service this Sunday.
Although I am deeply disappointed by the Referendum result and have concerns about the future of our country for my children (both at home and at work), this is how democracy works, and I firmly believe it is crucial to respect others’ opinions and therefore also the result. The people of the UK have voted and it is important that we come together as a country to make the best of the decision and to move forward positively as a united people.
Having taken control, we now need to show control, co-operation and resolve.
Jo Cox said “We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” In the coming weeks, months and years it would be well for us to remember these wise words from an inspiring MP.
Although much of what follows links to the Christian church service I attended this morning, I hope that the aims, ideas and values expressed are acceptable to others whatever their faiths or beliefs.
In today’s service our vicar, whilst considering the outcome of the vote and the way forward, reflected on our school’s Christian Values:
Our children’s thoughts on these Values can be read here:
Rev Philippa shared the following thoughts on these Values this morning:
“We can bring a forgiveness that seeks a will to find new ways to work together in divided communities. A forgiveness that looks to those who voted differently and asks why. A call to look beneath the surface to the reasons why so many were feeling powerless and wanting to take back control.”
“To the deep divisions we can bring love. A life motivated by love rather than a life based on self-indulgence…Use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows….This love would urge us to look for reconciliation between opposing views; this love would encourage us to look out for those who now feel unwelcome in our country and to assure them of our concern for them.”
“To the despairing and bewildered and fearful we can bring hope. Having woken up to the depths of the divisions we turn and look for new ways of working together and new opportunities for co-operation…I have hope that young adults will imagine better and stronger ways of understanding, trade and mutual support.”
Rev Phillipa then shared the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s statement from Friday:
“We must now unite in a common task to build a generous and forward looking country, contributing to human flourishing around the world. We must remain hospitable and compassionate, builders of bridges and not barriers…we must therefore act with humility and courage – being true to the principles that make the very best of our nations.”
There has been much focus in school’s during the last few years about promoting British Values. These include to accept responsibility, show initiative and to contribute positively. To further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions, and to encourage respect for others and democracy.
If these British Values are important enough for politicians to insist schools promote, and for teachers across the country to do so with our pupils, then surely they should be good enough for us to follow as adults as we build a new future together.
If we value Britain, and the future of our country for future generations we need to leave the past of the referendum campaign behind us and focus on moving forward with Love, Forgiveness and Hope.