THE words “crisis’’ and “Theresa May’’ have become synonymous. I’ve lost count of the times in this column where I’ve lamented the latest dire straits to engulf our calamity-prone Prime Minister.

I’ve been struck this week by the scale of the chaos and how inured to it we have become. On Tuesday we saw an unprecedented contempt of Parliament vote followed in quick succession by other embarrassing government losses.

READ MORE: Theresa May's ministers in contempt of Parliament in disastrous defeat

Brexit has already changed the minds of some who were previously against Scottish independence.

We voted Remain. We voted No after an explicit warning that to do otherwise would risk our EU membership.

I wasn’t involved in the 2014 referendum. Unlike so many of my young-ish media counterparts, I didn’t cut my teeth during that heady summer of engagement and hopefulness. I wish I had.

Alas, I was engulfed in the joy and fear of new motherhood, navigating the new challenges in my life while my country was deciding its future. I was a quiet Yes voter.

It wasn’t until near the end – and I still remember the moment – when I saw the infamous “eat your cereal’’ Better Together advert that I snapped out of my fog and began to speak. I watched “patronising BT lady’’ follow a script that said that voting No was the only choice that responsible parents could make. She was an old-fashioned stereotype of a woman and the clear message of the advert was that the big decisions are best left to the men.

I got angry. I fired out a response on Facebook – I wasn’t active on Twitter at the time – and I held my tiny baby daughter and seethed with the cheek of it all.

Later that week I was walking through Glasgow Central station with the wee one in the pram and I saw my name – and my rant – on the big screen. I realised that all of us can play a small part if we care enough.

What sparks anger or action in any of us depends on our priorities and beliefs at that time. I was a reluctant writer, plagued by imposter-syndrome and all too aware that I hadn’t followed the well-trodden path of our country’s talented journalists.

Despite my reticence, I’ve since carved out a small place for myself. I’m proud to write regularly for this paper which, against all the odds, has thrived since 2014.

READ MORE: The SNP must not forget it already has a mandate to hold indyref2

As we enter a pivotal moment for our constitutional future, we should be asking ourselves how we can bring those who may find themselves distanced from politics to a place of active involvement.

And we must encourage this in everybody, not only those who believe as we do, that Scotland would be better as an independent nation.

I say this because I believe that independence is an inevitability. I don’t know whether it will happen within the time frame we – as Yes voters – would like it to. But I do believe that democratic engagement is a strength, whichever way the votes fall.

It is through democratic engagement that we achieve good governance. Dissociation, unthinking support and low-expectations are what leads to governments – of whatever colour – taking voters for granted. If we have learned anything since 2014 it is that there is strength and growth in robust debate.

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Nicola Sturgeon is navigating a challenging game of political chess. The sands are constantly shifting, and she must balance the voices of those who want to see indyref2 now, and those of our fellow citizens who are understandably wary of adding more big decisions on top of unresolved ones.

They say that patience is a virtue, and it is. Not merely to demonstrate restraint but because some things are worth waiting for. While my now-friends and colleagues were fighting for the political future they believe in, I was preoccupied. Many members of my family have been persistently and compassionately arguing the case for independence since before I was born.

Many – if not most – voters have been on a long political journey before they reached the point where they concluded that independence best represents Scotland’s interests. Some of the most prominent, vocal, and effective Yes campaigners hadn’t considered independence as a viable option until the referendum.

We shouldn’t underestimate – or alienate – the people who, for whatever reason, are still undecided, unsure or sceptical.

No one person, group or political party own the banner of Yes. It is part of the energy of the movement that there is a difference and diversity of ideas and approach.

One thing that should guide us all is a willingness and eagerness to persuade. Alongside that should be an effort to understand and to empathise.

How we conduct ourselves in this moment will either help or hinder our efforts when the time comes to put forward our case.

On the day when Scotland becomes independent, there will be no prizes for purity. Every single Yes voter; whether recent or long-standing, Labour, LibDem or SNP, social-justice Yes or pragmatic, this-is-the-only-way-out-of-this-mess-Yes, will have each contributed to Scotland taking a different path.

And for many of our friends, neighbours and family members – though hopefully less than 50% – that time will not come. It will be our job to learn from the mistakes of the EU referendum and bring the country together in an orderly and restorative way.

As a comparatively recent active Yes convert, I’m hopeful that we can.