The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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None Of Us Can Truly Rest

Posted on July 31, 2014

  SUMMER IS A FINE TIME FOR WRITING AND I’VE GREATLY ENJOYED putting the final touches on a book on the complex life of Nelson Mandela that I began a year ago before his sad passing. His death brought out worthy global praise and extolled some of those qualities we so came to love about him: reconciliation, champion of human rights, a powerful personality which he used for the public good, international ambassador for peace, and a vast inner life. Yet we often overlooked how Mandela felt about poverty and the depth to which it moved him. He had felt it in his own life, but, more than that, he placed human want in the broader context of human rights. Given his universal belief in…

Depth Time

Posted on July 29, 2014

IT WAS THE USUAL KIND OF PARTY WHERE FRIENDS gather together for a BBQ and some good times. The host found me in her living room scanning the various books in her shelves beside the fireplace. There were the familiar titles of history, philosophy, economics, and politics. When I complemented her on her selection, she remarked, “They are actually from my university days and I treasure them. But the truth is I haven’t read them since. There’s just no time.” It’s a common tale – one heard more frequently as life piles on responsibility after responsibility. There was a time when the idea of thinking deeply was a worthy pursuit. It equated the reader (or writer) with life’s more profound treasures and mysteries and supposedly…

Inside – Outside

Posted on July 24, 2014

MOST OF US TREASURE OUR VALUES.  WHETHER WE GAINED them by the natural transition of parents or grandparents to children, from religious faith, humanistic values, or even by strength of character, they matter to us and we seek to live our lives by their lights.  Many of the great leaders who have led our nation or our regions were driven by such values to make a difference in public life. But we never acquired such values to accept the status quo.  We never meant for poverty to become entrenched.  It remains unthinkable to us that women still make less than their male counterparts for work of equal value.  Guilt often assails us when we realize how we have treated our natural environment.  The best politicians…

Back To The City

Posted on July 23, 2014

WE TOOK SOME DOWNTIME LAST WEEK TO CELEBRATE OUR ANNIVERSARY, but since our return I have been struck by all the conversations that have been going on about our city and its future. I shouldn’t be surprised. Since the very beginning of recorded history, the places where we live, cooperate, and occasionally contend, together have dominated human thoughts. It is proof again of American philosopher, John Dewey’s, observation: “The local is the only universal, and as near an absolute as exists.” But somehow, along the winding and sometimes frantic pace of our civilization, power moved away from where we live to other places – parliaments, world organizations, financial bodies – that at the moment seem farther away from us than ever. The challenges that we…

For All of It

Posted on July 18, 2014

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars…