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What the Brexit Vote Tells Us About Humankind

29/06/2016 13:03 | Updated 29 June 2016

Nearly a week ago Britain made the historic vote to leave the EU. To this day, nearly half of the country (48.1% of the voters to be exact) continues to be devastated with the shocking results. That includes me.

I really believed that Britain would stay. I really believed that the people of Britain would vote for economic prosperity, cultural diversity and progress through collaboration. But I knew the other option was there: to vote out. And I knew that the polls were close. Still, somehow, I thought we'd all be happier once the vote was done. I'm sorry to report I was wrong.

After the results were announced, the country became more divided than ever.

The remain voters voiced their disbelief and despair by starting second vote petitions and using anger to take over social media. The leave voters celebrated this 'independence day' feeling verbally attacked by the remain voters, and betrayed by the leave campaigners' empty promises that already started falling apart that very first morning.

The economy took a hit and Britain's leader resigned. The country, to say the least, was in a state of mess. Fast forward a few days and things are not looking much better.

Personally, my worry goes far and beyond the current economic and political climate of Britain. My worry is about what the results tell us about humankind.

For one, it's demonstrating the rise of xenophobia and racism. It's no secret that the Leave campaigners used aggressive anti-immigration messages to get people on their side. Somehow, in the 21st century, we find ourselves in a place where we want to build more walls rather than take them down. We want to reduce diversity and make non-British people feel unwelcome.

To that, I say, congratulations. You have succeeded. Racist incidents are already on the rise across the UK. I can confirm, as an EU immigrant living in the UK, I have never felt so unwelcome in my life, despite having lived all around the world.

Secondly, I am worried about how the politicians, the media and whoever else was involved in these campaigns, felt no moral obligation to tell the truth. Facts were falsified and messages were distorted to fight for people's attention. I understand this often happens in political campaigns - but when are we going to stop it from happening? When are we going to stop people like Nigel Farage from selling empty promises about NHS funding simply to advance his political career and his side of the campaign?

Thirdly, when did we start fighting for isolation over collaboration? When did our desire to create a better world get replaced by our desire to simply create a better country? When did we stop feeling cross-cultural compassion?

This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. Emotions are still riding high - and that's ok. It's natural to be anxious when things are so uncertain. It's natural to be angry when change we might not want is coming. It's natural to feel grief when you know you might have to say goodbye to the Britain we knew and loved.

But somehow, eventually, we need to start accepting the facts.

The reality is that democracy has spoken. Over half of the voters felt that EU was more bad than good. Over half of the voters were angry about the state of the country as it is. Over half of the voters believe Britain is better off on their own.

Whether you agree with those sentiments or not, is irrelevant. Change is coming and that's a fact. What I do encourage you to do, is face this change with a strong, compassionate heart.

Be patient because change takes time. Have hope because eventually things get better again. Most importantly, focus on love - because that is the one thing that connects every single human being on this planet.

Don't let the Brexit vote take that love away from you. Remember to see and love your neighbour - no matter their age, background, race or belief - as a fellow human.

Susanna Halonen, also known as the Happyologist, is a happiness coach and writer based in London, United Kingdom. Sign-up for free happiness tips from her at www.happyologist.co.uk.

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