It was a sad day today.
The last day of school at an international school can be that way. So many kids are moving on to new schools, colleagues leaving for new positions, and retirees ending their careers, that the joyous close of the year usually ends in tears.
Today though, the tears were more than just about the close of school.
Today Germany woke up to hear that the United Kingdom had decided to break the ties that bind and exit the European Union.
My British colleagues were devastated. My British kids were worried about their parents’ futures working abroad in the European financial market. My students were worried about their University plans and how this change would impact their tuition.
Too many friends said, “Today, I’m ashamed of my country.” I hugged them and held their hands and said, “Yes, I know what that feels like.”
One said, “Too many of my countrymen are so nationalistic, well not like Americans, but you know.” Yes, I do know.
And then, after the shock died down I began to feel a deep sense of dread. What does this all mean?
If it can happen in Britain, could it happen in America? Could the irrational win out in this year’s presidential election?
What does this mean for me? My job? My friends? My daughter’s friends?
We are a world bound together, whether by contract, or just personal connection. We are no longer citizens of the United States, we are citizens of the world. My actions impact the actions of others. My country’s actions impact the actions of other countries.
For the United Kingdom, enough was enough. That fear of losing control, that fear of those different from them, won out over all of the good reasons to stay in the union. And for some, it was just the fact that they finally could take action against something, anything, after feeling politically and economically abandoned for so long.
Please America. Don’t let this be our story. Don’t let the hatred of the other, the anger at paying for those not paying their fair share, make you vote the wrong choice this November.
And regardless of how you may feel, think of the future you are leaving the next generation. When you are gone, will your decisions have made their world a better place? Or, did you just make the decision to cut our nation’s children off from a better future?
Vote based on the facts rather than your emotions. Vote for equality and openness. Vote to REMAIN connected to our world community.
How did the vote affect your day? Feel free to share an end of school year anecdote, or maybe even a baby animal video to cheer us all up.