The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Ring the Bell

Posted on September 25, 2013

It was exactly one year ago that I left hospital, came home, and began a phase of my life that left some tinges of mortality on all the things I do.  I possessed a stapled incision that ran fully up my stomach and was an endless source of fascination to my Sudanese kids.  I jokingly told them it was a zipper that had been placed there in case the surgeons needed to go in again and it was only a couple of days later that I learned that they had believed the entire story.  I laughed so hard the staples almost popped out on their own. I was some 30 pounds lighter and in possession of only a quarter of my stomach.  The tumor…

Moving Beauty

Posted on September 23, 2013

I already have Jane’s tea made, waiting for her to wake up on her birthday.  We’ll go for lunch at our favourite restaurant and then likely catch a movie tonight.  But in sitting here waiting for her to get up, I realize my heart is filled with the kind of anticipation I have felt with her for years.  We’ll have tea on the porch swing shortly and that anticipation will only deepen. There’s a beauty about Jane that is purely multi-dimensional.  She possesses it in the physical sense, naturally, but it quickly leaps from there to other realities. Khalil Gibran, one of her favourite authors, notes that, “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”  Well, that’s a beginning,…

Valueless Work

Posted on September 18, 2013

WE THOUGHT IT INVIOLATE, the link between work and production.  But like the relationship between democracy and voting, or citizenship and responsibility, historic alliances appear in decline.  We just so happen to live in a generation in which change has been so profound that the foundations of stability that we have counted on for centuries seem no longer dependable.  History appeared to concur with Aristotle: “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”  Yet history now seems to be at a pivot point.  Once a sense of fulfillment is hollowed out of human toil all that is left is drudgery.  But for those on the top of the economic pile work has become commodified – a means to an end that thinks little…

Old Bald Men

Posted on September 17, 2013

What could I say?  I stared at the younger man seated opposite a few months ago and was dumbfounded.  In fact, it was the only time since I departed politics that I can honestly say I was offended.  “The last thing we need right now is old bald men standing in the way.  You’ve had your chance at politics and it’s time you moved aside to let the younger generation in.” There was something obviously brash about the statement, but it was the sheer arrogance of the attitude that came across that might not bode well for politics.   Opinion and ideology have become the new vocabulary of the modern political structure, offering way more heat than light.  It reminds me of Jon Krakauer’s insight…

The Seven Sins

Posted on September 12, 2013

Just a few weeks before he was tragically assassinated, Mahatma Gandhi spoke of current troublesome trends that he eventually titled The Seven Sins: Wealth without work Pleasure without conscience Knowledge without character Commerce without morality Science without humanity Worship without sacrifice Politics without principles Over 60 years later, these seven blunders have been so institutionalized that they have been structured into modern society in ways that are endemic. Given the increased emphasis on the acquisition of wealth in these last two decades, the reality of people making money off of money as opposed to working with hands and minds has revolutionized the global economy and ostracized communities and entire countries in the process. The rise of the middle class following the Second World War…