Mindfulness in Times Of Tension: The 8th Amendment.

This blog is going to be a little sharper but shorter than my usual posts, bare with me though. With voting day nearing, the tensions are running high between the “Yes” and “No” canvassers. As I walk to work every morning, I am constantly greeted by canvassers on both sides, who have been up early volunteering. I commend each and every one of them. Working passionately for something so incredibly difficult isn’t easy. To be frank, what I have never discussed is my opinion. I’ve been completely mute since this issue first arose, and since the date of the referendum was announced. That being said, it’s time I finally break the silence.

It came to my attention recently that I am being spoken about by people who know little or nothing about me. Acquaintances and strangers are commenting on my decision as to what I’m voting for this coming Friday. What I’ve heard from trusting sources is that people are making presumptions that I’m a “massive NO voter”.

Firstly, I have made the decision to keep my personal views completely silent. This is my choice. Just because I do not possess a “Repeal Jumper” does NOT make me a no voter. Just because I haven’t changed my profile picture to “Vote No” does NOT make me a yes voter. Just because I’m being silent does not give ANYONE the right to decide what I want and discuss inaccurate information amongst themselves.

At the end of the day, no one should feel pressured to express their opinions online. The internet is a daunting forum, your opinion is never truly safe. I’ve warranted incredulous remarks from both sides of the debate, I’ve witnessed bullying from both sides of each party. Every single person is entitled to their opinion, whether you express it online, or keep it to yourself. Regardless, you shouldn’t be discussed by others. At the end of the day, we are a unit. As a country, we should be supporting and respecting each other’s opinions. One might not agree with another’s opinion, but at the end of the day, we’re only human. We’re built to love, to cry, to fear, to give, to take. We may not agree with each other sometimes, but hate isn’t really the answer. If someone does not desire to promote their opinion online, so be it. Why create folklore and falsehood about those around you?

My decision to remain silent is no one’s business. I respect those who have canvassed their views and shared their stories, it’s not an easy thing to do. But for me, I’m not uttering a word. I think I should be equally respected to keep my decision private. Every single person has the right to remain silent if they choose to do so.

I was defamed by one with a considerable influence on people, one with power. Leadership comes with respect and dignity. Discussing mindless rumors, and guessing what people are voting is slandering and defaming. Those with the responsibility to protect others are implementing fabricated lies about my opinion. I am disappointed. I respect each and everyone’s views, and no matter the outcome on Friday, we’re still a unit. Nothing should change. So to those who are creating a hinderance, suggesting what one might be voting without evidence, be mindful. You may not agree with what your friend is voting for, but that shouldn’t cause dispute or hateful arguments. I respect both sides, no matter what I vote this coming Friday. But my vote is my business. Silencing my vote is also my business. So be mindful of those around you, and remember that in ten years time, this will be a thing of history. I wish everyone the best. Be mindful in times of tension.

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