The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Goodwill Hunting

Posted on December 26, 2012

And on earth, peace to those of goodwill … Luke 2:14 Today I turn 62. A birthday is always a good occasion for reflection and this past year has been more notable than some. From having my daughter Kristy move back to London with her son Jack to undergoing major surgery, from seeing how Londoners responded so generously to the food bank during demanding times to finishing my book on London – these made the year meaningful, challenging, and inspiring. My Mom, Dad and brother all died of cancer when they were 62 – an irony not lost on me. Yet I feel there are still many more things to do, to accomplish, to share with others, and to enjoy. While in hospital, I…

The Things You Can’t Buy For Christmas

Posted on December 24, 2012

We live in the most financially minded era in history; nothing previous compares to it. Somehow we have put ourselves in the position of believing that our greatest problems can be solved by changes to the budget. A rampant globalization has introduced us to a world with few checks and balances and a sense that the new economic order is some massive global juggernaut upon which citizens themselves and average families can have little effect. The Christmas holiday season always had a sense of the commercial in it, but that has now given way to a more economic view of everything. We have received about 300 Christmas cards this holiday season, but after perusing them early one morning I was encouraged to see just…

Citizen Gifts – Innovation

Posted on December 19, 2012

Difficult economic times have a tendency to get communities to pull into themselves. No light appears at the end of the tunnel, no dawn on the horizon. The longer we remain in such circumstances the easier it becomes to just go along to get along. Citizens pass by and acknowledge one another, but no sparks are kindled, no dreams established. Citizenship, even democracy, often succumbs and “goes dark” for a time. But there are those who refuse to adopt the spirit of such an age and work relentlessly to bring new measures of hope and adaptability to society, ruminating in their minds about how best they can aid humanity. Famed Canadian author, Robertson Davies, wrote stories about such people, saying, “Extraordinary people survive under…

Citizen Gifts – Protection

Posted on December 17, 2012

We’ve all been through enough these past few days to understand what happens when a community that perceived itself to be safe suddenly finds out it isn’t. It’s as John Wyndham says in his, The Day of the Triffids: “It must be, I thought, one of the race’s most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that ‘it can’t happen here’ – that one’s own time and place is beyond cataclysm.” That’s what the people of Newtown, Connecticut must have thought, until that awful day. Admittedly, it was hard to detect what was about to happen. It most often is, when some imbalanced individual decides to break out of societal norms and wreak havoc. But there are other influences that threaten our communities that can…