Anyone else finding our new disordered order as addictive as it is terrifying?
While it wasn’t what I voted for, the country’s call for dramatic change has cast a different light on everything. Pre-Brexit Britain already seems another world. A quietly simmering pot that, last Thursday, boiled over.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Here in London there’s a tangible sadness, along with all the feelings of uncertainty, negativity and fear being reported in the press …. but you can’t deny that life (or the news at least) isn’t interesting.
There’s vibrant debate. We’re all at it. People who haven’t previously troubled their minds with politics or matters of constitution are lying awake at night worrying about the future of our country, and turning up to demonstrations.
They’re saturating social media with newspaper articles and petitions… instead of pictures of their baby. (I’m as guilty of this as the next person). Our priorities, our identities, everything is open to question.
How vacuous did the lifestyle sections of this weekend’s papers seem with our constitution in tatters around us? I couldn’t even look at them. Same goes for the perfect lives being promoted by celebrities and brands on Instagram. These aren’t even vaguely interesting to me right now. There’s something real going on out there.
What I’m trying to say is that these unprecedented events, with their as yet unknown implications, could be just the airing we needed. Sadly, it takes a reality check like this to bring our real priorities into sharp focus.
Many of us have children too young to understand the enormity of what is going on around them (and quite frankly who does?) but this is their future. And it’s going to be our job to ease them into it.
We don’t yet know what shape this new Britain will take and what its modus operandi will be but we can do something.
We can start by encouraging in the younger generation a love of history, geography and languages. These are going to be more relevant now than ever.
If these past few days have taught me anything, it is the significance of these fundamental and beautiful subjects and how much they have been overlooked.