This Thursday will see millions of us head to the polls to vote in the General Election, suggested as one of the most divided of our times with a predominantly Tory vs Labour head-to-head split for power. There’s been tactical voting, youth uprising, YouGov polls coming out of our ears and slurs from all angles, but what will happen when we wake up on Friday morning and the results become clear? It’s fair to say that there is going to be some disappointed parties and people, angry, upset and confused at what happens next. These people will most likely be your friends and family, and maybe you. Whichever side your voting for, here’s a couple tips to help keep you sane during the election fall out.
You don’t have to hate someone if you disagree with their politics. This a tricky one to get on board with, especially when you feel so strongly about a subject. When we hear someone share an opinion or view that is the polar opposite to ours and goes strongly against our beliefs, it’s tough to sometimes separate that person from their political views. But although they disagree with you, and sometimes are outrageously wrong in your eyes, you can still like them as an individual, even if they voted Tory. Just.
Your family member / friend / work colleague is still the same person, no matter who they vote for. So you’re a little bit shocked to find out your Dad votes Brexit Party. You’re upset, your disappointment and you don’t understand, but just remember that your Dad is still the same person who scooped you up when you fell of your bike when you were young, and ferried you and your mates around in Dads taxi for all those years. You can still love that family member even if you disagree with their political beliefs. Way too many arguments happen over Jeremy Corbyn. He’s trying to unite us guys, not push us apart.
Don’t give up. It’s really easy when your political party loses to feel like you just want to give up, and that your vote doesn’t matter. But by going out and voting, you have made a difference, and contributed to the numbers which started some conversations. If you feel passionate about something, and you’re doing it for the good of others and not just your self, then keep going and be the change you want to see.
Stay away from social media. Twitter and Facebook are a swamp when it comes to politics for ‘I told you so’s’ and public humilities, so stay away from these when you’re feeling upset and emotional. We all want to share our anger and express to a wider audience why we feel dismay and be heard, but an online slagging match with strangers who are never going to see eye-to-eye with you, especially in such heightened circumstances, is never going to end well and will leave your feeling deflated.
Take a break. We want to keep up to date with everything that’s happening in the World, and thanks to technology, we have minute-by-minute updates pinged straight to our phone, and friends on the other side of the line ready to rant and rave too. But if you feel as if your head is barely bobbing above water, take a break from politics for a day or two and don’t get too worked up checking on everything that’s going on. Take yourself off for a walk, run or a yoga session to clear your mind and help you remember that things can always change.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. Remember good will always prevail. If you’re feeling lost and upset, and worried about what the future holds (I remember this feeling all too well after watching Trump be elected, and after watching the Brexit live) then try and remember that good will always prevail over bad in the end. As Obama so beautifully put it in his ‘Final Year’ documentary, life is like a pendulum, it swings from both sides, but what you view as bad won’t last forever- it’s got to swing back at some point (or something like that). Accumulate your thoughts, and if you think you’re doing what is good for the people, then get back up, grab your pussy cat hat and try and try again. Change only happens with perseverance.
Be kind to eachother. That’s it. That’s all it takes. Listen, well, try. Agree to disagree before falling out with your mates over Michael Gove, and don’t feel like a failure because you stood up for something which is important to you. Be kind to you.