On Tuesday I had the opportunity to see Eddie Izzard stand up for the UK’s place in Europe. Some people complained that he didn’t unpack his thesis enough but I don’t think discourse has to explore the minutia of a topic to be thought-provoking and totally awesome. He basically explained that being a part of the European Union is being part of an institution established to keep the peace within Europe (and thus, within the rest of the world).
I chose to move to the UK when I visited Brighton, England back in 2010 after suddenly becoming very eager to see the world. The year before, I’d befriended 20-somethings from all over Europe, Australia and New Zealand, while working at a summer camp. I realized that I have quite a bit in common with people from very different backgrounds compared to my own. Without really understanding my rationale, as soon as I started studying at the University of Michigan, I immediately figured out how to study abroad . I discovered that the University of Sussex has a great psychology program and more importantly, would let me study abroad as a sophomore.
I knew before I arrived in England, that I wouldn’t want to go back to the US so fast. 6 years on, I now understand why I felt that way:
I love my hometown and the high school theatre community I was a part of but I needed a rest from the constant competition and impossibly high expectations. From a very young age, I was always aiming to be the “best” at everything I tried but I often failed and hated myself because of it. I decided that it was time to be a big fish in a small pond for once, like the University of Sussex, where having one on one conversations with established professors is much easier than at Michigan.
I also decided to stay in England because I love being in Europe!! Oddly enough, a few people I’ve met in England aren’t that happy about being associated with the rest of the European Union. I mean, why help a person/country out when you can just help yourself? Why share when it’s easier to take?
Well, I grew up in a country where for the most part, I was encouraged to look out for myself, to try and become a self-made man. Well, that sounds ridiculous to me now. If it wasn’t for the friends that told me I could call them day or night if I wasn’t doing well, even if they needed their sleep, I wouldn’t have come so far. We need giving people and giving institutions and giving nations to lift us up and inspire us to be fucking awesome. Then we are more likely to help other people out and continue the legacy of awesomeness and peace.
So, I can’t vote in the referendum today because I’m an immigrant (not a fucking ex-pat, you privileged twats). So, if you can, vote remain.