• Benjamin Fry

The Biology of Brexit

Almost everything which confuses us and divides us can be understood through the lens of the nervous system, and therefore the invisible lion.

Astute observers will have noticed that very rarely does anyone make any sense about Brexit. They just seem to be very angry and shouty. There's been very little listening going on. Why?

Really it is very simple. Some people's nervous systems feel safer in a smaller space, and some people's feel safer in a larger space. Some people feel claustrophobic if stuck with one group of people while others feel threatened if strangers turn up on their doorstep too easily. These people have different calibrations of their nervous systems, mainly from how they were raised by their primary caregivers, or the world-view they were taught when they were small.

For example, I feel a sense of alarm if I become trapped in the UK without the freedom to live and work in Europe, even though I will probably never do that. I have a friend, who when he talks about Germany, earnestly bemoans that he has relatives in the ground who fought to save us from their colonisation. When I'm in Germany I feel safe; he doesn't. And being safe is terribly important.

If we all started talking about what feels safe for us, rather than dreary arguments about trade tariffs and back-stops, we would find that not only does the debate become more health, but also we can actually sympathise with people who want different things to us.

It's ok to want to be safe, and for my safety to be defined differently to yours. We all have our own individual invisible lions.


©2018 by Benjamin Fry