Stop. Think. Remember - My reaction to the EU Referendum

I wrote this post on my personal Facebook page the other day. The EU Referendum results had been in for 24 hours, my facebook feed was full of hate and anger and I was at point break with it all.

I'm not a confrontational person, I rarely speak my mind, but what I was reading, friend turning on friend, family turning on family, was utterly heartbreaking. This vote which was bought before us, which was meant to bring us together by giving us a chance to have a say, has done the complete opposite. 

Whilst scoffing my breakfast with my family Saturday morning, I sat and wrote this out on my phone and clicked post without giving it a second thought. I assumed nobody would read it. I assumed people would get angry. But do you know what? The opposite happened.

Little old me, a married mum of 3 little lads, sat in my PJ's typing away, had unwittingly written something which struck such a chord with people, it is currently sitting at 17.2k shares, and counting. I literally cannot believe it, nor put into words how I feel about it.

The shares and stats are exciting, but they don't matter to me particularly. What does matter, are the 100's of messages I have got, and replied to individually, thanking me for writing what I did. Pensioners, war veterans, young people who feel victimised and pushed out, parent's, grandparents...the list is ever growing. Some have gone as far to say, including an 83 year old war veteran, that I have restored his faith in the youth of today. I couldn't wish for kinder words to be said.

Humbling, bemusing and utterly wonderful. Uniting people in the darkest of times.

We will get through this. 

We will make this work.

So, without further ado, here is my post. Read it, don't read it. Share it, don't share it. I don't mind. But whatever you do, please be kind, think before you speak/type and remember, we are all in this together. 

***********

"I've bitten my tongue up until this point, but if I see another post about 'old people being responsible for us leaving the EU', "people who are 90 and are going to be dead soon making decisions on the behalf of the young and stuffing it up for them" or condemning the elderly's democratic right to vote, I'm going to burst.

I would say that old people like this guy in the picture at the bottom have every sodding right to a vote, to be allowed a say.
I've got no idea if he would have voted to Leave or stay in the EU, but what I do know is that he would have given his life, like many of his comrades did, to enable you all to have a voice. An opinion. To be heard.

These 'old people' many of you speak of, fought for our country. For our freedom. For our right to have a voice. You all used that right they fought so hard for on Thursday and you should be ashamed of yourself if you've even used that as an ammunition point.

I understand many of these veterans I speak of are now no longer with us, but their children are. And their grandchildren. And I'm pretty sure they haven't forgotten what these 'old' people did for us. They fought for peace and unity in the world, but they also fought for our country. How could a group of people be anymore torn with which way to vote than these? They may be 'old', but I sure as hell don't believe that the Grandparents of today would want to jeopardise the world of tomorrow.

I'm angry at the shit storm of hate and anger I've seen over the last couple of days. I am angry that leave voters have been so scared to say that they voted leave, many I'm sure for valid and educated reasons, that people have been saying, "oh, look! See how quiet all the leave voters have been since the announcement was made. Idiots!".

They have probably been quiet through fear. Fear of being lynched, fear of being labelled racist and xenophobic. Fear of being accused of being 'working class' and bigoted. I know people who voted leave and they are none of those things. They are friends and I don't think any less of them for voting leave, than I do of those who voted to remain. I am just proud of them all for having an opinion.

This is not what our country is about. This is not what our older generation fought so hard for.

I am certain some war veterans, some 'old people', would have been utterly dismayed at yesterday's news, others would have been overjoyed. They fought for peace between nations, but also for the freedom of our country. Even they will have been torn as to what box to tick, probably more than any of us will ever know.

I am not writing this as a for or against the result, I am not siding with either viewpoint, that's not what I am here to say. But please think before you open your mouths, click share on an article, or get all high and mighty behind your keyboards and phones. A lot of people are hurting. A lot of people are angry, and that is understandable, but to play the age card in all this is just below the belt and uncalled for.

Being kind to each other takes a lot less effort than being unkind.

It's time to move forward together and to be thankful to those 'old people' for creating the 'free' world in which we live in today".

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS