I need to say from the start that I am Irish and that I truly love England. She is an old friend although we have a deep challenging history. I also must say that I was truly shocked by her vote yesterday to leave the EU. I myself question many things about the EU including, how it is run, the excessive bureaucracy and the endless inefficiencies. But I have always seen this great model as holding many opportunities for humanity. I have seen it as a place where we can learn to live and work together and to move towards-unity. I see the EU holding the potential for us to measure how we are doing as humans. Are we getting along, collaborating and supporting each other to be something bigger than we are on our own?
I believe that England’s decision to leave was made from fear greatly influenced by the mass migration that Europe is experiencing. Living here these days, I can certainly see that this is a valid concern as social systems are overburdened in all countries as refugees arrive and mass migration is a way of life.
As I was sitting in shock after hearing the results I wondered:
~ What are the solutions to Europe’s migration and many other problems?
~Can we stand by and watch people fleeing from wars with infants in their arms as they make their way onto unsafe boats boarding for unknown lands and often never making it?
~When does their crisis become ours?
For England I guess it was all too much. She wanted her sovereignty back. Historically -she sailed solo on the great seas. With her renowned navy, she held power, strength and dominance in the world. She still holds this memory. I believe England made her decision – from a place of fear not strength. She wanted to return to controlling her destiny, as this is what she knows best. But I think she missed a very important point- that solo sailing is a thing of the past. I believe she missed a major opportunity. Far greater, more courageous options of leadership were available to her which would have allowed her to provide guidance and to use her many gifts and experiences to steer Europe to higher ground- but she did not make this choice.
In this time of distress for many, there is some good news. I am meeting other people, like myself, who seek to work in collaboration and partnership with others. Who have in the past been the lone cowboys and cowgirls and are done with this way of being. I am meeting many who are concerned deeply about the wellbeing of others and know that we are all interconnected and the pain of the woman refugee escaping her war-torn country with her baby on the boat ~is our pain. We are all interconnected and can no longer afford to turn our heads or isolate.
It is clear to me that Europe is at a crossroads and it needs to become the leader in finding solutions to many diverse problems.
Many questions remain:
Will the remaining 27 EU nations pull together and grow from yesterday’s experience?
Will they be the ones who find compassionate- solutions to the problems of mass migration- unnecessary war and hate?
Will the EU become the model that it has the potential to be?
I believe that within every crisis lies an opportunity. What could he opportunity be here?
Maybe it is time to ask the question that the great philosopher Aristotle asked- way back-
“Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts”? If we collectively answer yes I believe there is hope.
Maureen Simon Consulting