European Heartbreak

Like many people, I awoke to the news that the UK would leave the European Union feeling heartbroken, angry, and scared.

I have been a citizen of the E.U. since I was six, and now that part of my identity has been wrenched from me. I was proud to be European and British, the dream of Winston Churchill. Now I am no longer European and ashamed to be British.

I feel that a mistaken older generation have taken away the future of a younger generation. Vote statistics show that the share of ‘leave’ vote dramatically increased among the oldest voters so there is evidence to support that feeling.

I’ve never been more concerned and afraid for the future, but I I take some solace in nature and literature.

The land itself hasn’t changed. This is a social crisis on epic proportions but nature is as it was last week. The social and political crisis may yet destroy the land if we don’t do enough to tackle climate change, but for now, the land continues unchanged, unaffected by Brexit.

I still have fantasy and sci-fi to distract me, but also to inspire and guide me. I can look to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy to see how things can get better despite cataclysmic events.

I can also look to T.H. White’s The Once and Future King to see how nature can guide us:

‘Merlyn had taught him about animals so that the single species might learn by looking at the problems of the thousands. He remembered the belligerent ants, who claimed their boundaries, and the pacific geese, who did not […] Countries would have to become like counties – but counties which could keep their own culture and local laws. The imaginary lines on the earth’s surface only needed to be unimagined. The airborne birds skipped them by nature. How mad the frontiers had seemed to Lyo-lyok [a goose], and would to man if he could learn to fly’.

For the sake of peace and prosperity we must knock down walls and erase borders, whilst keeping our cultural and social identities. We should not retreat into our castles, pulling up the drawbridges. The world’s problems are our problems.
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