We had it in the palm of our hands.
We so nearly held onto it.
We let it go.
We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
No, I’m not talking about the Euro 16 tournament where England served up their usual fare of disarray and disappointment in the face of unrealistic expectation, I’m talking about the EU Referendum debacle.
For months we were fed a mix of ‘facts’ from both sides – some convincing, some fanciful, some complete untruths – different experts (or should that be ‘experts’?) served up their version of the truth in an attempt to get us to side with them and vote to leave or remain. In the end the Leave vote carried the day – very marginally – but as a democracy, Britain voted and it voted to leave the European Union.
Since 24th June 2016 many, many people have been astonished, upset, disappointed, amazed, disillusioned and angry. Yes, people who probably don’t get too involved in politics are angry.
- Angry about people ignoring the benefits of the EU.
- Angry about people ignoring the experts, in many fields, who shared their knowledge.
- Angry about the lies, deceit and game-playing employed by the politicians.
Anger has a purpose – it makes people uncomfortable, it’s a reaction to being uncomfortable and in the case of the referendum, it’s made people debate and get involved in politics.
Every day as another political plot twist takes hold you can see people open-mouthed and aghast at each piece of news: Cameron resign; Farage says the lies were ‘mistakes’; Johnson steps out of the Tory leadership race; Gove counts himself in, as does May and Leadsom; Farage resigns… I won’t go on.
As a nation we have seen behind the curtain of Westminster, underneath the greasepaint and through the smoke and mirrors at what makes politics tick in the country, and it doesn’t seem often to be the will of the people, more the personal ambitions and feuds of a handful of privately-educated people.
So, what does anger have to do with anything?
Well, it’s a driver for change and as an organisation that prides itself on working with young people, they are the generation(s) who will feel the repercussions of the Referendum’s decision and fallout in every way.
We often tell people that they need to get a grip on their emotions, get some anger-management and stay in control…yes this is true, but sometimes we do NEED to be angry with things, we need to get to that point where ‘enough is enough’ so we look at things in a different way.
Anger is important from time to time as the motivation to change something – admittedly changing the government isn’t a quick fix or something we all have a lot of power over until election time – and even then it’s only those over 18 who can vote.
STOP for a minute, ten, 30 or 40 minutes and think about what makes you angry.
That sticking door?
Those attention seekers or braggers on social media?
Those uncomfortable shoes?
So, what can you do about those things?
Keep the sense of discomfort from the anger but take some calm decisive action to change the things you can change, affect what you can affect and be at peace with those things that you can’t adapt and then…move on in the knowledge that anger has served its purpose.
Take the anger, take action, move on.