With many across Britain, Europe and the World still reeling from the UK Brexit vote to LEAVE the EU. My mind is focused on where things can go from here?.
This decision presents a major challenge that calls for the very best in leadership which, as this tattered garment starts to unravel, looks more and more like being another challenge to find. This in itself is having a ripple effect, with implications already further creating economic mayhem along with big uncertainties for many ordinary people’s lives both in the UK and Europe.
It is unchartered territory that now has to be walked and it is absolutely crucial to look at key issues that underlay this decision. Firstly, this vote throws a spotlight on the immense social and economic divisions and inequalities that exist in the UK, which is symbolic of what is being felt and exists in EU countries, including here in Ireland. Secondly, this mindset can create great fear and so result in some people hitting out at those whom they perceive to be a threat. Sadly, so often in this case the people that are on the recieving end are other ordinary people who are trying to make their way to creating a life for themselves and their families. However, fear can also fester a suspicion of anyone or anything that is perceived as ‘other’ or ‘different’ and can open the door to toxic hatred which spills out into society in the form of racism and bigotry.
The tragedy and concern about this, is that the divisions that are bred in society can be stirred up by those in powerful positions whose agendas can serve to feed hatred and bigotry. Their powerful words of persuasion appealing to those who are feeling left out, forgotten and feeling they are not listened to by mainstream politics. For in truth many ordinary people have suffered terribly under austerity and it has created a huge vacuum in many communities. This has required for some time now attention from both national governments and EU Agencies. Unfortunately instead of supporting and stimulating communities already feeling marginalised, in times of recession these governments and EU directives have imposed greater austerity cuts and inflicted greater hardships and poverty. Thus adding to the divisions in these communities. This being the case, the UK Leave vote was made by many people who do not normally engage with politics or voting, who being fearful, mixed with feeling disillusioned and disenfranchised and who were promised that they would be more powerful and better off without being in the EU, decided to unprecendently come out to have their voices heard through the ballot box.
In the aftermath we now see and hear that some of these Leave voters appear to not have understood the implications that could and are now occuring, with the falling of the pound and the challenges being posed to economic stability both for the UK and far beyond its shores.
When political ideologies in the context of the nation-state make or influence decisions that impact on millions and millions of people’s lives, it is absolutely essential that they do so from a place of informed and conscious awareness and from a place of authenticity, integrity, compassion, inclusiveness and honesty. Looking at what has just happened in the UK with promises made now being diluted and being given another shape entirely, these attributes in the main are very sadly lacking.
The story that is now unfolding on our TV screens daily poses more questions than answers. It calls into question the influence and structure of political, social and economic institutions, and the impact that their decisions have on individuals and different interest groups and on their beliefs and ultimate actions. If these decisions are not made firstly in the interest of people but rather pander to economic markets and an elite wealthy minority, the consequences can be devastating. Furthermore when a disenfranchised people in response decide to revolt against such decisions it equally can have devastating consequences. Both sides desperately need to be channelled beyond ‘outrage’ into building a compassionate conscious society. Alas it appears this is a long way off but in hope, I say not impossible. What is required, is to consciously build a parallel alongside the rhetoric and divisions.
As we see so clearly after the Brexit vote, neither side in the aftermath appear to have any visionary answers, or indeed Conscious and Visionary Leaders, upon which to start to build a firm foundation for a new road of inclusive, equal and respectful social and political change. What is clear is that the uncertainty and major divide in communities, between ordinary citizens, and political and bureaucratic systems poses further major questions. The cries of ‘unfair’, ‘mistake’ etc… now form a loud and shrill clap of thunder from the the dark and looming clouds that are unapologetically now raining torrents of blame and counter blame. This serves no-one or nothing, other than to increase the divide and widen the chasm on either side of the argument.
What has just happened in the UK with BREXIT is certaintly something that needs to be noted by all governments across the EU including our government here in Ireland. When ordinary people come out in high numbers for change, the status quo will suddenly find itself greatly challenged. This decision in the UK is, on the one hand, very concerning, and on the other hand holds a huge opportunity for real positive change, as we desperately need major reform in the EU. We need now to use this to start conscious conversations about issues of economic and social equality and major reform in how the EU operates and the relationships it, and indeed politics, has with ordinary citizens.
We require Conscious and Visionary Leaders to build a new dawn, who;
- Work with imagination, insight, conscious awareness and boldness.
- Who have a tremendous interconnection between themselves and the whole of society enabling them to work with an inclusive focus to serve equally ALL sections of society.
- Who recognise that in the main there is some relevant good argument, reason and truth on both sides that are caught up in polarised issues that divide people in societies…
- .Who look for solutions and move beyond the adversarial methods in addressing issues and problems.
- Who look for common ground and connect with the best of both sides of an argument rather than provide short-term solutions.
- Who seek to address the systemic root causes of issues, disagreements and problems in order to find and create real, sustainable and lasting solutions and conscious changes.
- Who actively engage, collaborate and bring people together around a new and conscious shared sense of purpose.
- Who actively are focused on working for conscious change and the creation of equality, fairness and justice in communities and wider society.
The Conscious Approach and framework for the society that I propose is firmly built on the Values of kindness, compassion, equality, respect, integrity, honesty, transparency and authenticity. In reality, this may appear to be a dream in the face of a World in turmoil. However, as with any set of ingredients we can make many different things. I choose to celebrate a multicultural society and make a coat of many colours that enhances more beautifully a society then any one colour ever could do. I leave you with the great wisdom of the Hopi Elders Prophecy;
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this IS the Hour. And there are things to be considered; Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader”
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”
“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
— attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder
Hopi Nation Oraibi, Arizona
May we begin the important work of having Conscious Conversations, and together in collaboration as active and global citizens, may we step forward to create more conscious societies, for indeed “We are the ones we have been waiting for”
Lets continue Conscious Conversations from here…
Bernadette Phillips MA., B.SocSc Dip. Soc Pol/Crim
Bernadette Phillips is Founder of New Insights For Change intuitive guidance for conscious living… she is a Social Scientist, Writer, Poet and Blogger.