Dear Daughter: About Democracy
As I stitched this block, my thoughts were elsewhere. Once finished, I was almost surprised to find the finished quilt block in my hands. Unusual for me, as the repetitive process of knitting or sewing usually takes my mind away from subjects that are troubling me, giving me perspective. It didn’t this time. My fingers are so used to the motion that they carried on. Leaving my mind elsewhere. Stunned.
Like many in the UK, I have been reminded how democracy works, especially where a referendum is concerned. The majority wins. Every vote counts. The end result may not sit well, but at the same time I am thankful that I live in a part of the world that allows everyone to vote.
The decision is going to take some time to digest. I spent the impressionable younger years of my life immersed in other European countries and cultures. While holding onto the appreciation for my own nationality, my concept of boundaries between these countries is ….. absent…no maybe, minimal is a better description.
When I look back to these times, I remember only an overwhelming atmosphere of welcome. A wish to whole-heartedly invite you in and help, if they could. Amazing experiences. Unexpected and delightful. Not from all, but enough. In the process, I guess, I became a little more European. Less willing to acknowledge boundaries between people. For this experience, I am truly thankful.
In return, I have opened my heart to overseas visitors and welcomed them, because that is how it works. We work together.
Now, I know that we are still living in a European country. We can’t simply pick up our isles and wade off through the oceans to another location. (Although if we do, could we choose somewhere with a lower rainfall and slightly warmer and more reliable summers) We are still European. It’s just that the UK have opted to interact on our own terms. How easy this will be, I really don’t know. Less welcoming as a nation, maybe. Less able to be there when we are most needed. More than likely. And vice versa.
Something tells me that it does not change how we will greet and be greeted by our European neighbours. After the intial shock at least.
While the referendum outcome is not binding, I don’t think anyone believes that everything is going to stay exactly the same. Uncertainty alone will bring change.
I’m not going to get into the big question here about whether this referendum should have happened at all. It did. That cannot be changed.
Returning to the point of my letter. Democracy has happened. We live in a country where people can vote and it does make a difference. People who spend time deciding, have as much right to vote as those that flipped a coin, and everyone between these two extremes. It doesn’t matter how the voter reached their decisions, everyone eligible has the chance to vote. (Unless they forget to register)
I don’t usually let on to you how I vote. I try and provide you with a balanced view in our discussions. Trying to show all angles, so you can decide. Exposing the truth behind some of the sound bites. Teaching you to question and not accept at face value.
You haven’t yet reached the age where you can enter the polling station for the first time, but I hope I am showing you how to make a decision. Your own decision. A well thought out opinion which means that you will not regret a single vote you cast.
Your loving Mother
The quilt block in no 54 “The Kitchen Woodbox” from the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. This is part of my Dear Daughter quilt project. One quilt block for one letter, until I’m ready to hand over the finished quilt to my daughter.