This is the problem when you surround yourself with people who share your beliefs and philosophies; you get a skewed sense of hope. Yesterday, my social media, in particular, was a sea of red. I was proud to go and vote yesterday; I genuinely believed I could make a difference. I shared my reasons for voting yesterday – a vote for humanity.
I went to a girls’ school where politics education wasn’t offered below A Level, nor encouraged as a subject. I doubt I would have chosen it if it were available. I studied a little bit about the country in Citizenship – a shoe in lesson that I only recall a little bit about the queen’s portrait on a fiver. I began my voting career relatively apathetically in my first General Election 2010. I voted Lib Dem. I was due to start my University degree in the following months. They let me down.
I voted Green in a couple of local elections, as I slowly began to immerse myself in the world of politics. I naively thought that if I voted for what I believed in, then the winners would come through. That strategy let me down.
In recent years, in every GE, I have voted Labour. Not because they are perfect, not because I agree with everything they stand for, but because I believe they are the party who can make this world a better place.
And this is the problem when you surround yourself with people who share your beliefs and philosophies; you get a skewed sense of hope. I genuinely believed that we could wake up with a different result this morning. Perhaps, locally, my vote wouldn’t challenge the Tory stronghold in Kent, but on a national scale, maybe we could make a difference. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.
I disagree with the result. I fear for our children, our elderly, our homeless, our disabled, our healthcare, our culture, our LGBT+ friends, our mothers, our mentally, chronically, physically ill, our climate, our empathy, our arts, our schools, our teachers, our humans. But I am not here to label anyone as having made the wrong choice. We all vote, I hope, with what’s in our hearts.
Instead, I am here to move forward. To work with what we have and to work through our heartbreak.
This world needs to exist beyond the end of our own noses, and the General Election is only one way we can make our voices heard. So instead of rising to the vitriol, cheapening ourselves, lets hold our heads high and continue to make the world better.
Put some cereal in a food bank basket. Donate to your childrens’ school raffles. Protest the closure of your local hospitals. Talk to the homeless on the street. Volunteer for Samaritans. Visit your local library. Thank your NHS staff. Thank your childrens’ teacher. Thank a police officer. Offer a kind smile to a struggling parent. Donate to charity. Pick up one piece of litter every day. Show compassion to people who differ from us. Continue to be optimistic, and decent. Challenge fear, hatred, greed, deceit in our day to day lives. Be a member of our planet. Be present. Don’t be a bystander in this world – be a participant.
That is the only way that we can move forward. Politics plays a massive part in our future, but we play the biggest part of all.
So, Rufus, yesterday I voted for you. Because you don’t know hatred. Because you don’t know fear. Because you don’t know misogyny. Because you don’t know deceit. Because you love, unconditionally. Because you smile at everyone, without reservation. Because you bring me hope, every single day. Love, empathy, compassion, light, and hope. You will know the difference you make to the world. I voted for you, and I will create the world I want to see for you.