After all that's happened over the last week it's easy to lose hope and despair for our future, but while I'm not a natural optimist, I think optimism is the one thing we as a nation need right now.
A lot of people (half the country more or less) are angry and frustrated at the referendum result, but we have to accept the outcome as a democratic decision and the will of the people (regardless of how misguided or divisive the referendum was). It's good that people are so wound up because it's the opposite of apathy and apathy will never help change things, so let's use this energy for something positive.
Because we're in the social media age we think posting funny memes, sharing thoughtful articles, linking to videos of comedians ripping into politicians, changing our profile picture or signing online petitions will make the world a better place (believe, me I've done my fair share of those things), but the reality is armchair activism isn't enough. Those things are all well and good but they're too easy and are usually only seen by people who agree with us anyway.
If we want to see real change, we've got to get our hands dirty - talk to people, really know the issues, try and understand why people are so angry and disillusioned. Not only that, but we need to let those in power know that we've had enough.
The 'establishment' have been dealt a massive blow not seen in years and here is our opportunity to reshape and rebuild politics for the people. Those in power – or rather, those on the cusp of power – won't let that happen easily though, and that is why now more than ever we all do our bit to create something good for the future.
Join a political party or support organisations like Hope not Hate. Lobby your MP about the issues you care about. Get stuck in and see what you can do in your local community.
Then, maybe – just maybe – things will turn out for the best.
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