independence

Independence Referendum Reflection

Words are what spark emotions in people. For instance, we hear war and naturally we feel fear and anxiety. We hear Independence and we are met with a mix of good and bad emotions, pride, freedom, anxiety, suppression. In general, words can ignite something in us. It happened to me on September 11, 2001, when two planes crashed into the twin towers. I was only seven, I cried, I felt anger, I felt for the people who had died and those who had lost their loved ones. I felt emotions, but I didn’t understand why. On the news, the aftermath was occupied with political jargon, war and hatred. Being seven I couldn’t fully take it in, but I wanted to. From that point on I was filled with a morbid curiosity, I had to settle my own confusion.

It was 9/11 which sparked my political interest, but it had always been there. Everyone has it, we all care about the rules and regulations, but we only show it when we don’t approve. And that is what is happening right now. That is why we are having a referendum.

When Alex Salmond announced that there would be a Scottish referendum on September 18th, I wasn’t amused. Oh great, I thought, another political campaign. But it was just anxiety speaking. Over time I felt drawn towards it. What was the right answer? Was there a right answer? I spent hours gruelling over both campaigner’s websites. Partly for a debate that I was involved in with my other classmates at university, and partly because I wanted to know. But I got angry over the childishness on both websites and very quickly spiralled into a huff and gave up. Why was it so difficult to have a straight answer? How could I debate about it if I didn’t fully understand it. I was immediately brought back to seven year old me obsessing over 9/11. It spurred me on. I realised I was only angry because I didn’t understand. So this time I paid more attention, I starting watching the live debates, I started reading articles from both sides on a variety of news websites. I started taking an interest.

The funny thing was, so was everyone else. In the run up to the independence referendum there has been yes and no campaigners singing or shouting about independence. There has been customers coming into my work with balloons, badges, stickers, all of which were making their way onto the floor, or the ceiling, or our clothes. Within what felt like a few months, everything changed, everywhere I turned people were expressing themselves. Whether that be for independence or against. It was refreshing. For the first time ever, people I worked with were having healthy debates about it. These people were all between 16 and 27. We were all young and we were all interested in politics in some way or another. When have we ever been able to say that? It made me realise how big this has become. People want to be apart of Scotland’s future, we want to have a voice. It is clear that maybe Scottish people feel they were never heard before. That is certainly something to think about it anyway.

If you are reading this and your are still undecided, my advice is to settle your confusion, do your research and tomorrow vote for what you believe is the right decision, whatever that may be.

Now I have one question for you reader. Have my words sparked an interest?