Which Path Do You Choose To Take?
When the British people voted to leave the European Union, they cast their vote for more than Britain’s independence. They voted to protect a status quo: a status quo, which – by the way – might not be so glorious to begin with, but which could be challenged if Britain stayed in the European Union.
However, Britain is not an isolated situation. All around the world we see similar events where nationalist agendas make the headlines: the upcoming elections in the United States with a strong right-wing sentiment, the National Party of Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders’s party in the Netherlands, the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or the recent elections in Austria with an even-further right-wing presidential candidate, Norbert Hofer.
The New York Times writes: “The British campaign featured assertions and allegations tossed around with little regard to the facts. Both sides played to emotion, and the most common emotion played upon was fear.”
A similar dynamic plays out in all of the above examples: little regard to the facts, and fear as a basic driver. And with fear being the driver, there’s plenty to choose from in a changing world: terrorist attacks, migration issues, climate change, financial crises, or the growing inequality gap – skim through today’s paper and take your pick.
Fear or Love
As we cast our vote, however, we cannot forget that we are ultimately choosing the direction in which our world is headed. It does not matter whether we vote for Independence or not. What matters is whether we vote from a basic mindset that’s driven by fear – of separation and judgment – or whether we vote from a mindset of love – of love for our fellow humans, but also of love for ourselves. “Love” might be a word that has little place in politics or global issues. However, as humans, we ultimately only have these two options: to choose from a mindset of love, or to choose from a mindset of fear – in any situation: whether we are waltzing with our spouse into the sunset, or whether choose to eliminate terrorism.
With a rising complexity and uncertainty in our world, more and more people choose fear as their driver. It’s simply our conditioning as humans and the way most of us have learned it. Consequently, as humanity, we will create a world that’s driven by fear (and where some people usually gain a lot of power as a consequence of that fear). But ask yourself: is this really the direction you want humanity to take?
If not, stop for a moment and consider how you would choose if you would not choose from fear? Brexit or not – it doesn’t matter. What ultimately matters is whether we will live as humanity driven by love – by an understanding, appreciation and respect for each other – or by fear of each other.
Personally, I’ll do my best to do the former. Still practicing, though.