EU Referendum: Please consider voting with compassion

Welcome Back

Way off topic with today’s post; living in the UK, we are faced with voting weather to stay in or out of the EU soon. Due to the agoraphobia I have a postal vote and have had to make my decision early. Weather you are an in, an out, or still on the fence, please read on before you cast your vote.

Mindfulness and compassion

I have been exploring mindfulness as a way to help process and live with depression and anxiety, the origins of this come from Buddhist teaching. By doing this I have realised that behind my fear, is anger at my situation. It seems the flip side of fear is anger, perhaps the opposite is also true, if you are angry about something, does that anger come from fear?

In chapter 13 of Pema Chodron’s book; When things fall apart, there is the following quote:

Only in an open, non-judgemental space can we acknowledge what we are feeling. Only in an open space where we’re not caught up in our own version of reality can we see and hear and feel who others really are, which allows us to be with them and communicate with them properly.

Maitree. Cultivating compassion

  • May I be free from suffering and the root of suffering
  • May others be free from suffering and the root of suffering

The thing is, the bottom line.. ‘we all just want to be happy’ and for most of us the basics of that are food, water, shelter, and love.

At the start of the media coverage on this EU referendum, I tried to work out what was going on, was it good to stay in or better to come out. BUT as so often happens both sides of the argument quickly descended into school yard point scoring. Both sides trying to scare us with all the terrible things that MIGHT happen if we stay and if we leave.

Living as we do on a small island, both sides of the campaign have stirred the fears about immigration, and that’s what finally made me stop listening to any of them. We are all just PEOPLE, trying to find food, shelter, and a means to do that. Yes individual nations and their own customs and boundaries are important, but no one nation is more important than another, and we seem to have lost sight of that.

I hope you are still reading, this may well be a nieve way to vote but when there is so much confusing and conflicting information floating around, I listened to my heart. Here are a couple of examples of situations, to consider, who really wins?

Primary school alliances or battles?

Did you have to share a table with a group of others for project work at school, often not with your choice of friends, often not on topics that you wanted to do but there you all were. Consider this situation, each child has a different coloured crayon, and there is one large piece of paper in the middle.

You could each rush for the paper, snatch off what you can and draw what you could with your one crayon….OR you could pal up with your neighbour, share the two crayons you now have and have more options. No you can’t control how your neighbour will use your crayon, you have lost some power but you have gained more options.

You could continue you this around the table, and all work together on the big sheet of paper together, the disadvantage, you don’t have your own choice of how the paper is used, you have to negotiate that with the others on the table. You have to negotiate what you draw. But although each looses something, as a group you can achieve more than an individual.

The Blackbird and the sparrows

The other day I threw some food out on the lawn for the birds. The blackbird ‘thinks’ the lawn is his, so anything on it by default, in his head is also his. Thing is no one told the sparrows and they are hungry too. The sparrows either working together or as individuals kept taking bits of food, while the blackbird was on the other side of the lawn, fending of ‘intruders’ from that side.

EU In or Out?

There will always be threats if that is all you see, the blackbird could have shared his food and had the advantage of all the other birds also keeping an eye out for predators, but his own patch was more important than the bigger picture.

I am in no way saying IN or OUT to you, your own life experiences and those of your nearest and dearest will be the biggest influence on that decision. I’m sure those of you who have read more on the subject than I can manage will make a much more informed decision.

Maybe think of it like a marriage, no you don’t always get your way, you could cut your losses and walk and start over again but you’ve been here a while and it’s not all bad and would take so long to build up to where you are now…or you could listen, talk and come to a compromise that might be a real game changer.

This felt like one of those BIG moments we will be talking about for a long time, I shan’t say which way I voted, but it was based on compassion and I just wanted to share these thoughts, in the hopes you might use compassion in your voting consideration too.

As someone famous once said, ‘We all live on the same world, we all breathe the same air.’

Sometimes the kids say it best and as a child of the 70’s this song seems apt: I’d like to teach the world to sing


Pema Chodron Book When Things fall apart

Promise this won’t turn into a political blog, that is not what this  blog is about.I just wanted to shed a more peaceful light on the whole EU Referendum Debate.

Wishing you peace, light, hope, compassion and joy





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