The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Be It Resolved

Posted on December 31, 2013

New Years doesn’t quite retain the deeper cultural meanings it used to possess years ago, but it still carries quite a punch.  Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, some of my most vivid memories swirl around New Years Eve, the gathering of family and friends, community celebrations, and, of course, the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  There was a depth of humanity to its words that transcended the moment.  But there was a restrained sadness in its singing, a kind of brooding acknowledgement that the arrival of a new year meant having to deal with some of the more difficult realities of the one just expired. The words “Auld Lang Syne” could literally be translated as “old long since” and spoke of the passing of…

Thoughts on a Birthday

Posted on December 26, 2013

I have now had 63 birthdays and, as always, I grow more thoughtful on my birthday.  The life expectancy of a man in Canada is 80 years of age.  In China it’s 74; in South Sudan it’s 53.  So, I’m doing okay. But birthdays are also measured by other standards as well.  For all of us there are the physical alterations on our countenance.  If I could speak honestly, I love all my wrinkles; it’s as if they’ve been inhabited by the depths of life and experience.  They need to be deep so as to house all that I have been through in my years.  Our faces should look like homes for the depths of life, or else they remain merely empty show houses.…

What Would Jesus Ask Santa?

Posted on December 24, 2013

He was a Christmas angel, though I couldn’t spot it at first. We had been going into Westmount Mall on Friday evening to just cheer on the volunteers who had been wrapping Christmas presents in return for a donation to the London Food Bank.  It was pouring rain, and on the way in the door I noticed a man standing off to the side who was obviously having a difficult time.  He appeared down and out and discouragement seemed to mark his disposition.  We went on inside and then I suddenly thought better of it. “I’m getting a coffee for some volunteers inside; can I get you one?” I asked. He smiled at that point and though he had first declined, he went on…

A Christmas Carol Revisited

Posted on December 18, 2013

Below is my Huffington Post piece published yesterday on London’s Kellogg’s employees and their remarkable ability to assist an entire city in recapturing Christmas meaning. Glen Pearson Director, London Food Bank, former Member of Parliament A True Christmas Miracle in London, Ontario Posted: 12/17/2013 5:32 pm My hometown of London, Ontario is currently reliving its own version of A Christmas Carol. The announcement last week of the shutting down of the Kellogg’s plant in London, and the increasing pressure from modern capitalism to reduce wages and break unions, has left us as a city reeling and hoping to find better times. We are just like many other communities in this country, as we watch wealth inevitably pull away from us. Charles Dickens made his name situating the character…

High Noon

Posted on December 17, 2013

I was fortunate enough this past week to have received numerous emails from Kellogg’s employees, thanking me for some recent posts.  A theme from these messages began to emerge.  People wanted to explore some of the ideas about how our current economic/political/social system is no longer sustainable.  I think they hit on the crowning struggle and question of our age. Things are coming to a head – perhaps not this year or next, but soon.  It’s like the Gary Cooper movie High Noon, when the solitary figure of a man determined to do right and protect his community goes up against a number of individuals determined to undo his value system.  Today, democracy is squaring off against the forces of a capitalism that has,…

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