Renunciation and rebirth of a political yogi
I cried this week. Yes I f**king cried. But real men don’t cry do they? Especially in a room full of women. How embarrassing.
I cried because last week I lost a part of me. Other people also cried, because they too have lost something – The referendum was no victory, it was a down right catastrophe.
Following this tragic event, a part of me has renounced being ‘British’. My heart rather lies with being ‘European’. After all, I was naturalised as a European and have always loved the European project, with the freedom, hope and values that it brings. I am sad in a way that 48% of the British population also voted to Remain, but forever have to live with the consequences of being associated with this tragic decision to leave the EU (there is still hope, as we are still in the EU to this day).
But what effect has this referendum had upon us? Can we find resilience in times of deep despair? I am not the first to admit that I have been quite depressed as a result of the referendum result. I try to be a ‘yogi’. But quite frankly, I can’t. I listen to people who say “get over it”, and that democracy has prevailed, but I can’t. I think of all the enlightened ones in this world I have met and have read and think what they say and how they would react, but I can’t.
I simply can’t, because when something so fundamental to you is lost, when a right that defines your identity and the course of your life is snatched away from the jaws of victory, it makes you think that this is more than just a political game. I simply can’t, not just because of the result, but the referendum itself was a complete travesty, not least for the gross lies, deception and delusion that prevailed throughout the campaign.
I now appreciate so much more why there are so many refugees in this world, why people make such heroic and dangerous journeys; for if I too feel that I want to leave Britain, how must others feel when their countries are torn apart in the midst of so much bloodshed and violence.
So what do we make of all this? We have two choices. We can try and get on with our lives and accept the result. Or, we can resist and keep showing people that we do care. Care for ourselves, our European friends and most of all, the European project as a whole – the biggest successful peacetime project the world has ever seen. Lest we forget that.
Yoga is about the union of mind, body and soul. If at the end of the day, your soul has been so traumatised and something so fundamental has happened to you, then don’t let your urges to fight for your cause stop there because your actions suggest you are not being virtuous. There is a time and place in this world for “war”, a war that doesn’t have to be violent. A war perhaps in the delusions of my own mind, but which at the same time can be peaceful. These are rights that are afforded to all of us. It shouldn’t just stop there. Acceptance has a limit, taking affirmative action is rather the path forward.
Protest and show people that you care; if there is one good thing to come out of this, it is this – compassion; compassion for me and those around me who are affected by this grossly terrible result. Compassion and solidarity for all those around the world who are affected or subject to grave injustice and brutality. If being compassionate is a key virtue in life, then I am obviously doing something that is “right”.
“Righty oh” then I say in my best British accent, let’s just get on with it and fight, fight like a true British (oops I meant ‘European’) terrier.