Working with Fear: The EU Referendum

EU referendumRight now it feels like we are living in a country filled with fear. With the EU referendum just around the corner, the future of this country appears to be at stake. The tactics being used by both sides promote fear, which as my teacher Bobcat always said, is never a good motivator. When we use fear to create change, we risk ruining our chances of real transformation because all people want to do is alleviate the fear.

There are many ways to try to alleviate fear. One is simply avoidance. We ignore it, we don’t turn up to vote, we remain ignorant on the issues, we fall into apathy. It’s the easiest way to not have to deal with fear. We can also resort to escapism, through alcohol and drugs, television and more. But we all know that ignoring a problem usually doesn’t make it go away. It’s an illusion, and we have a responsibility to create the world that we would like to live in.

Working with fear means challenging ignorance, challenging what may be uncomfortable to deal with. Changing our behaviour is hard work. But we can do it, we have the ability to respond, true response-ability. We can move through the fear, to see through it and to calm the fear through learning and integration.

If we are ruled by fear, we risk behaving disrespectfully, to others, to the environment. If we are instead ruled by a desire to create a better world, to strive for the good of all, to live a life fully integrated in world, in our locality, in our ecosystem, then there is little risk. Instead we are motivated by compassion, by love, by devotion, by duty, by care for others.

We have already seen tragedy occur in the run-up to the EU referendum, with the murder of MP Jo Cox. We need to take stock of our actions, of our words, our thoughts and our deeds, every single one of us, no matter which side we are on, and act accordingly. As Druids, as Pagans, we need to lift the veils of ignorance, apathy and fear and face the truth against the world. May there be courage in our hearts, and may there be peace throughout the world.