The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Citizenship” Category

Summer Reflections – Physician, Heal Yourself

Posted on July 22, 2018

For centuries the word “sabbath” denoted a time of religious retreat, but in recent years it has come to be viewed as a necessary time of retreat to recalibrate ourselves to face the pressures of modern life. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy,” was one of the original 10 Commandments – the third on the list – but it was a concept practiced by other religions and cultures around the world.  For some that meant focusing on God; for others it was a time of healing. It was centred on the idea that life during the week can not only drain us but also cause us to make decisions that in the long run are detrimental to our mental health.  There is…

The Legacy Lingers. Its Effect Uncertain

Posted on July 18, 2018

Today would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. Hard to believe that he’s been gone from among us for five years already and questions continue to linger about his abiding influence.  Some of it is easy to figure.  As a person of moral stature, it is likely that no one from this present generation will stand as such a colossus of meaning and integrity.  As a family man, his life was mixed – as one would expect from someone so fully dedicated to a cause of freedom and having to spend almost 30 years in prison as a result of that commitment.  As a leader for human rights, his practices were varied, but the ultimate outcomes of his efforts are now beyond dispute.  And…

Summer Reflections – Half of Life, Half of Death

Posted on July 17, 2018

Ronald Rotheiser issues a challenge in his Forgotten Among the Lilies, and it’s worth taking up as a summer test.  Prompting us to have a good look in the mirror, he says: “Scrutinize and examine, look for signs of ageing, but spend that time looking into your eyes.  What do they reveal?  Are they tired, unenthusiastic, cynical, lifeless, lacking in sparkle, hardened?  . . . Is there any fire there?  Does passion still burn?  Are they weary of experiencing, incapable of being surprised?  Is there still a young child buried somewhere behind them?” It used to be that such insights were directed to those reaching senior years, but not anymore. There’s been too much research telling us that depression, loneliness, mental illness and a quiet desperation…

“Summer Reflections – Days of Rebellion”

Posted on July 13, 2018

Samuel Taylor Coleridge noted that “summer has set in with its usual severity.”  But seriously, most of us welcome these days of escape from the harsh winter months.  We explore the chance to unwind, to read, swim, relax or enjoy summer activities. But there has been plenty of research released in recent years that reveals how ambivalent, even hostile, many workplaces are about the warm months.  Why?  Because they supposedly make us lazy and the capitalistic mind views that as a rival to work productivity.  We aren’t surprised to learn that on inclement days we are more hesitant to head outside, choosing instead to stay at our desk or tasks.  One Japanese study discovered that businesses could get 30-minutes of extra toil from workers…

Summer Reflections – Don’t Let Them Die

Posted on July 10, 2018

In Victor Hugo’s tale Notre-Dame de Paris,composed in the 15thcentury, the printing press had just been developed and the Archdeacon of the great cathedral, Claude Frollo, stands outside and holds his first printed book in his hands.  Its quality and potential both fascinate and trouble him.  He looks from the pages of the book up to the spires of the great cathedral and says, “This will kill that.” He wasn’t correct, of course, but the printed word challenged the church and most other 15-century institutions in remarkable ways.  Yet that new technology didn’t so much kill God as take the concept of a higher being public and served to democratize the church along paths no one could have predicted. In retelling Hugo’s story of…

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