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What can the hopeful learn from the EU referendum?

As the date of the referendum draws nearer, I have noticed some of the jigsaw pieces required to build a picture of the voters and their involvement in the EU referendum, now starting to come together.

There are three groups of people involved in this decision making process. I would suggest that these are the same three groups of people that are always there.

The first two groups are the core voters for Remain and Leave campaigns.

These groups are optimistic about what they think and believe; this is linked to where they perceive their best interests and futures lie. I think that the fear that both sides are broadcasting, will have little or no effect, on the optimists. In fact, fear and optimism don’t make good companions; fear is not something that bothers optimists. Optimists tend to believe they will definitely get what they specifically want, with everything turning out alright for them. 

The key battleground is for the third group, the ‘middle ground’; these being the undecided and hopeful minority. I think that this minority holds the key, to who will finally win the referendum. This group is where fear reigns with little resistance from hope; this hope being the only emotion that is more powerful than fear. The ‘middle ground’ group is where the hopeful voters sit. I should also mention that all of us will experience times, when we are optimistic or hopeful.

To understand this middle group of undecided voters, hope has to be examined in a little more detail, I say this, as hope can be a complex emotion to summarise. To be hopeful, there has to be a future oriented possibility, something worthwhile, meaningful and personal, with values kept intact. 

Hopeful people tend to have a broader outlook; their pace of progress will be more variable than those of an optimist. Hope is about mastery, a feeling of empowerment and a sense of purpose that is shared and focuses on higher goals. It could be said that, being hopeful is less selfish. For instance, people don’t hope to get rich, people want to be rich. People tend to hope that all will be well. Hopeful voters in this referendum will be no different, intrinsically or extrinsically and even altruistically. 

Additionally, for hope to be realised, a person has to know who or what has control; hope also requires willpower for the journey and way or route to get to the journeys end. Only now, will a leap of faith be taken. With hope comes passion for the possible, hardwired into our instinctive side.

Hope and a leap of faith into the unknown are necessary when people get married, plan to have a family or start a business. There may always be fears at the back of one’s mind; in spite of that, people’s hope can be more powerful, with the right mixture of ingredients. True hope expands options and horizons. Voters in the EU referendum want to have true hope.

Are the in and out camps mixing the right ingredients to assist the hopeful to make their mind up; to give them the willpower, the opportunity to dream or think about meaningful future possibilities and at least, an outline of the route to get them there?

If not, a glimmer of hope might be dashed by false hope, leaving the undecided, you might say, ‘out of hope’.

Finally, when the EU referendum is over, it will be the responsibility of the winning side to be charitable, coupled with a positive vision of the future, its possibilities and what it will actually mean. If done correctly, this will give true hope to everyone and allow them to focus on their life defining aims, goals and a meaningful future.

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