Dear Daughter: About Democracy

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughter box

Dear Daughter

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.

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughterLike 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.

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughter and dog head planter

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.

As ever

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.

10 thoughts on “Dear Daughter: About Democracy

  • Thursday 30 June, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I found your blog and this lovely letter from he heart from your comment on my letter. I feel the same. That all votes count and we are lucky to live in a democracy. I truly hope my fears are ungrounded and that this is better for all but at the moment I just can’t see it.

    • Tuesday 12 July, 2016 at 10:34 am

      We will see.

  • Friday 1 July, 2016 at 3:05 am

    I am older than you, but I would not want bureaucrats – unelected, in other countries – making decisions about my own country. I hope things turn out all for the best – for everyone in Britain.

    • Friday 1 July, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Certainly an interesting time.

  • Sunday 3 July, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I am still reeling. Hoping someone will undo this bad dream. That the Leave voters who were much closer to the middle ground will have changed their minds in some visible fashion before Article 50 is triggered. And so on. The only way I have felt able to move on, instead of being paralysed I have mobilised. I joined the political party I’ve voted for all my life and hope now whatever comes I have done my best. Democracy literally means people power. That also includes the ability to campaign and protest and I shall teach my daughter that a vote is very important but it’s also not the only way to be heard.

    • Tuesday 5 July, 2016 at 9:12 am

      I totally agree that the next generation need to see voting as something that really matters. The rest will follow. I’m sure you will be inspiring your daughter by your actions. It is interesting time. Fast moving too.

  • Monday 4 July, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Hi Cheryl, it is too late to undo what has been done, and I’m with you when you hope that the UK leaving the EU won’t mean that we are any less welcome in Europe or visa versa. I do understand that a democratic vote is when everyone gets to vote, but that really didn’t happen in this case as there are many of British Nationals, living in the EU, whose fate will be determined by the outcome of the vote, yet could not vote themselves.

    I hope that this vote does not affect the future generations ability to travel and experience different cultures, that would be a shame.


    • Tuesday 5 July, 2016 at 9:24 am

      It does seem rough that not all effected were eligible to vote. I know a line has to be drawn somewhere.

      It would be a shame if it is more difficult for the next generation to travel, but I’m sure that even if there are obstacles, they will still travel.

  • Sunday 10 July, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Your last sentence says it all – I fear too many people cast their vote with too little understanding of the consequences.

    • Monday 11 July, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      It was wonderful to hear that both of the schools my children go to, encouraged the students to think about how they would vote. I know that other schools did too. I think awareness can only be a good thing, from such an early age onwards. To encourage them to think for themselves.

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