The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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The Character to Overcome

Posted on October 21, 2017

A lot has been said, written, sung, painted and even preached on the subjects of poverty, mental illness, addictions and homelessness in London in these past few years. Over time our brains have been hijacked into placing each of these challenges into their own separate categories, when the reality is that thousands of our citizens in this city frequently move through them on a continual basis. Many remain mired in such conditions because not enough supports are there to help move them along, while others have been fortunate enough to acquire proper assistance to begin the process of building their lives. Like Melissa Sheehan, for example. At thirty years of age, she has endured more of her share of careening disappointments and setbacks and…

Opting In by Opting Out

Posted on October 16, 2017

One of the consequences of missing the mark on predicting the future is not only confusion, but disillusionment. It’s happening with democracy at this moment in time, leaving many feeling more isolated from the political process than ever. An example is what has occurred with the activities of mass media or social media. Futurists used to say that these new forms of communicating news and information would bring citizens deeper into the political process, leading to a democratic renaissance. In reality, we have discovered that what has occurred in recent years actually completed the alienation of people from politics and from one another. Throughout the process, anger levels remain troublingly high. Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle used this troubling reality as the title…

The World’s Food Supply is at Risk

Posted on October 16, 2017

It happens on the same day every year and on each occasion the world falls farther behind. Today, October 16th, is World Food Day, whose purpose is to mobilize global awareness and citizen action for those suffering from hunger around the world. We occasionally hear that the battle against hunger is getting better in developing nations, but that is only partially true. And in developed countries like Canada? Well, that’s another story. Food Secure Canada estimates that almost 2.5 million Canadians live without secure access to food. Of the 850,000 Canadians that visit food banks each month, one-third are kids. Between 20-25% of American lives are mired in the same situation. Countries with lower rates of child hunger than the United States include Vietnam…

The Lost Art of Disagreement

Posted on October 9, 2017

What makes for a thankful city, a grateful community? Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to ask that question. Our divisions can overtake what are some of the great qualities of this city. Divisive opinions abound, while common purpose becomes rare. It’s tough to adopt a collective thankful culture while all this is going on.  We’re not alone though; the entire world seems in an increasingly grumpy state. A recent lecture by U.S. journalist and political commentator Bret Stephens in Sydney, Australia, created quite a buzz online and sheds some light on why a sense of collective gratitude seems harder to come by. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephens bemoaned what he termed “the dying art of disagreement.” While finding agreement is necessary for communities…

  

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