This clip has being going round and round in my head over the last few days. The answer?
Ride out and meet them.”
It feels strange to be saying this here because, on the surface, armed horsemen charging out of their stronghold into the midst of Saruman’s army have nothing to do with either Quakers or beads. And yet… I feel it is vital that we disappointed Remainers don’t seal ourselves off from the rest of the UK but that we do “ride out” fearlessly and meet our apparent opposites.
Meet them in dialogue, meet them in friendship, keep building bridges.
I know that’s hard to do when it hurts but these are still the same people we stood next to in the bus queue or the supermarket on Wednesday. People who care about their families and their country as much as we do. And, importantly, not every Leave voter is a racist.
Now I’m recovering from the initial shock, my hunch is that many Leavers may get very disappointed when it becomes clear that many of the promises given can’t be delivered. Remainers already know that, so we have the chance to think ahead, to find ways of making it work. Not to say I told you so but for the sake of us all.
It’s important in our bridge building to stay open to what we can learn from those we talk to, those who seem different from us. One of my favourite Quaker sayings is “think it possible you may be mistaken”. It is an ever present possibility. Am I open to my own thinking being changed?
As I was thinking how to express myself here, my daughter sent me a link to yesterday’s statement from Friends House which sums it up much better than I ever could.
Remainers or Leavers, can we turn this situation to good? Can we find ways of taking this revelation of the extent of disaffection and addressing the causes in the interests of greater understanding and unity in these islands and across the world?
Bridge Building is hard work – it is good to have others beside us to help with the work. Not to mention, being reminded that those who disagreed with us on the 23rd will still have things in common, which we can find and start to build connections.