I am sure that I am not the only one that will be glad when today is over.
You may remember back in April I wrote about feeling the need to understand more about the implications of voting In or Out. Where I held up my hands to feeling a lack of knowledge in the area of politics and my desire to learn more about hard facts in order to make an informed decision.
Funnily enough, and not surprisingly, I feel no further forward with that. I am sure many others feel the same.
As an adult, there are still many things I wish to know. About everything. Lifelong learning is my passion. I love to listen to others. There is always something new to learn if you are quiet for long enough.
Quiet is something that has been lacking during this Referendum campaign.
Facebook, it seems, has become the medium through which to share our views on the Referendum and I am sure we can all name a few people that have really got on our nerves during this campaign. I mean really got on our nerves. Nail your colours to the mast by all means but then just, well – just shut up. We get which way you are voting. Some of us may have felt a little envy that you reached a decision before us – but we applaud that. We don’t then need you to share every piece of evidence that you have read to inform your view. We do not need you to convince us of your decision. Or are you still convincing yourself? I wonder.
The Polling Stations are open. Go exercise your right. I shall be.
Equally, there are those that we are always interested to hear from. Those that will always have a learned opinion. They can debate from a reasoned perspective, they can talk about your views and their own without breaking into a sweat. We are interested in how these people are voting. They are interested in us too. We trust these people and value their views. They will value ours. Whether or not we agree. We don’t hear too much from them at time likes this. Their less is generally more.
My question today though is who has had the backs of the children over the last few months.
The future generation.
The very people for whom we are claiming to vote.
The very essence of why we are voting the way we are.
Has anyone checked in to see their thoughts or how they are voting?
Children are like sponges. They are also very easily influenced. Children will generally be the voice of their parents. I was. You probably were too. I have been keen to avoid this for my daughter, particularly as she grows into a young lady.
I am really appreciative that our school has had a mock Election for the children and that they have encouraged them to share their views if they want to. I worked in a childcare business where this happened too. It is great fun for the children, it raises their awareness of current affairs and encourages them to explore opinion. They start to think about their own opinion, that they have one, and that others do too. They will also learn that it is perfectly acceptable to have a different opinion to their friends. I applaud schools for doing this. And it’s just as well that they have really.
Because our future generation have been exposed to rather a lot of ‘shouters’ over the last few months.
They have been privy to seeing a level of unprecedented vitriol in this campaign. Where politicians and leading figures – male and female, are using their fists to articulate their points. Words like ‘fear’ and ‘hate’ have been bandied around so much they have gained hashtags. A further example of the lack of eloquence from those in whom we have to place our trust.
What a wonderful example being set for the very group of people that we are claiming to be doing this for.
Debate is healthy. It can also be animated. Our children need to know that it is perfectly acceptable to have an opinion. We call this democracy.
Our curriculum allows our children access to learn about historical political events which have shaped the way we are today. Children are encouraged to share, to raise their hand, to join in.
Not raising their hand can be indicative of a child’s uncertainty of what others may think. The fear of being laughed at or ‘turned upon’.
And then they see a bunch of enraged adults intent on humiliating each other by way of an example.
We cannot provide them with these tools in one hand and then take them away with the other.
There is no learning to be gained from that.
However you are voting today, I truly hope that that the result goes the way the way that you wish.
We are all doing our bit in the best way we can by turning up at the Polling Station today.
But let’s go back to being a nation that we are proud of tomorrow.
This is something that we have always done so well.