The unshakeable strengths of the UK
Each day brings another twist and turn in the Brexit saga and there is still more to come, writes Dmitry Leus.
Photo credit: EEPR
While the headlines continue, there is another perspective that says the UK will thrive, whether or not Brexit was the right choice, or what kind of Brexit we have.
We should remember that the UK has great resilience and many unshakeable strengths that will ensure the country’s survival and success, despite uncertain times ahead.
The UK’s education system is at the heart of this strength. It is striking for someone born in another country to see how much the emphasis is on self-expression for children and the development of the whole child, rather than just academic results.
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Compared to some European countries, for example, relationships between children and teachers seem to be much closer and friendlier in the UK and learning is more enquiry-based, that allows adults to take risks, take the initiative and drive projects.
The UK’s open spirit is another major strength. British people worry that they are seen as aloof. Britain offers newcomers a chance to find their place. This openness gives the country a dynamism and an entrepreneurial environment.
The British tradition of volunteering and charitable giving is another major asset in terms of the UK’s strength as a nation. There is a culture here of helping others, of getting involved and making a contribution.
It is such a part of the fabric of UK life that British people do not quite realise that attitudes are so different in other countries.
“We should remember that the UK has great resilience and many unshakeable strengths that will ensure the country’s survival and success, despite uncertain times ahead”
This high level of engagement and collaboration on social causes has benefits far beyond the immediate charitable benefits.
The OECD’s Better Life Index shows that the UK ranks above average in personal security, environmental quality, civic engagement, social connections, health status, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, education and skills, and subjective well-being.
The Better Life Index also noted that there is a strong sense of community and civic participation in the United Kingdom, where 93 percent of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, more than the OECD average of 89 percent.
Given these strengths, it is perhaps unsurprising that the UK excels in those sectors that depend on the deployment of knowledge, technology and skills. Examples include marketing, communications, design, branding and creativity.
The country is known for product development, technology, innovation, financial markets and education, while creative industries such as music, fashion, art and design are another area where the UK has an edge, along with tourism, culture and heritage.
While the UK is working to overcome the challenges and uncertainties ahead, the nation should not lose sight of its tremendous assets and should draw confidence from the fact that there are some strong pillars of success to build on.
It is important that the UK continues to value and transmit that well-founded confidence and resilience after 29 March 2019.
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