The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Identity – A Citizen’s Constitution

Posted on February 28, 2013

I still hold the document reverentially in my hands after all these years. CIVIC FORUM proposes to The Czechoslovak Public and Constitutional Organ of the Republic THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION It was January 18, 1990 and the Czech and Slovak nations were meeting together to hammer out the “Constitution of the People”. Vaclav Havel was attempting to gather together diverse factions that had assisted in bringing about the Velvet Revolution and subsequent independence from the Communist influence. We stood in the room, awed by the realization that we were watching a new nation about to be born. Experts on constitutional law from the West had arrived and were guiding the arduous task of framing the nation’s founding and fundamental manifesto. Even…

Identity – Digital Soul

Posted on February 21, 2013

The London Free Press had a feature article this past weekend on our digital identity, aptly titled “Our Digital Soul”.  There’s more to come in the next couple of weeks but this first installment was about the reality that there’s a lot more “out there” about us than we realize.  Sensors in various places pick up our facial features, voice characteristics, fingerprint identification, even odour, sweat and how we walk.  In other words, who we are is increasing becoming digitized, our “soul” supposedly no longer our own. The article dealt primarily about digital identity as it relates to security, but we all know it descends far deeper than that.  A recent report by the British government’s chief scientist, Sir John Beddington, reasons that social…

Identity – You and We

Posted on February 19, 2013

Communities have their own kind of DNA.  They came together over years of development, experience, leadership, tough times, migration, ups and down of economies, artistic expression, politics and citizenship, to name but a few.  Whether we are born into the place where we now live or moved into it at some point, it has special characteristics that existed long before we came along.  Often, despite its drawbacks, we choose where we live because we like what history has made of our habitat. A person can spend a lifetime in such environs and add little to their overall community.  The needs of survival mean they must take from it; but if they wish their community to progress they must give back.  This is the essence…

Reunions

Posted on February 16, 2013

Here is the link to my latest London Free Press article on our recent team trip to South Sudan – My new London Free Press piece on how a team of Canadians brought renewed hope to  remote region of South Sudan. – http://bit.ly/Zhwt7a.  It’s a key annual event for us, becoming ever more important as the world’s newest country seeks to get up off the mat after decades of civil war and enter an era of peace and prosperity. It was our largest team ever and they made key contributions. Ultimately it’s about two reunions.  The first is the team being welcomed back into the remote region and second is about our 15-year old son Ater and his visit back to a region he…

Identity – Romancing the Community

Posted on February 14, 2013

It’s Valentine’s Day. Many things to many people, it nevertheless finds a certain commonality in that romance can be as universal as it is secluded and intimate. I’m taking Jane to our favourite restaurant for lunch and then we’re going for a walk through the neighbourhood we love – just the two of us. I feel a certain thrill about it, even hours before our special date. I hope it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe that people can possess such feelings about their community, their neighbours, their place in the land.  Some are just wired this way. They can’t build a life around themselves for the simple reason that they desire a world greater than themselves.  Put simply: they love the…

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