The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Citizenship” Category

“Summer Reflections – Disconnecting to Connect”

Posted on July 8, 2018

So here are some details, just to prepare you for summer, as recounted by author Michael Harris. In 2012, we were asking Google questions over a trillion times a year.  Six years later that number has almost doubled.  At the same time, we were “liking” something on Facebook 4.5 billion times a day.  We were also uploading to You Tube some 100 hours of video for every minute of real-time. Collectively, we also posted over 600 photos on Instagram every second. In just the last few years, our use of the Internet has exploded 565 per cent.  Such usage dwarfs the revolutions brought about by the printing press, maps, and the scientific discoveries of earlier ages. Kaiser Foundation found that kids eight-to-eighteen years old were…

Summer Reflection: Any Cure For The Summertime Blues?

Posted on July 6, 2018

There are many different kinds of poverty in our world today, but one form gaining increasing attention is that of loneliness.  There’s a distinction between loneliness and the solitude so many of us seek each summer. The former is about the deep disillusionment of being alone while the latter is about the pleasure of being in our own company and finding healing in it. It is entirely likely that this summer will be plagued by more loneliness than any in recent memory.  This isn’t just a thought or premonition since there’s plenty of research and evidence to reveal that loneliness itself might well be at epidemic levels. Writing in the New York Times last April, Leah Nash made a rather stunning declaration: “There’s a mountain of…

Summer Reflections – How Did We Get Here?

Posted on July 4, 2018

This year especially, summer couldn’t come soon enough.  And not because we endured a long, hard, unpredictable winter – which we certainly did. No, it’s something more, something almost intangible – a sense that things aren’t great collectively. Individually we might feel a certain sense of normalcy, but when it comes to our position in the broader world – our sense of hope, promise, dignity, respect, the ability to make change – we aren’t as sure where we stand. This week our family has been volunteering at a kid’s autism camp, as we do every year.  You could sense the careful disenchantment, the lack of optimism, the worry over our shared state of affairs in most conversations, coffee shops, and idle chatter.  Much of it was…

1-800 – 0-Canada

Posted on July 1, 2018

In an increasingly globalized world, where we’re increasingly pressured to become more alike – buy the same products, eat the same fast foods, visit the same travel destinations – there’s a lot to be said for living in a country that has its own sense of uniqueness.  On this Canada Day, let’s celebrate some of our county’s oddities. We existed for about a hundred years before we got our own flag in 1965. Over 75% of the world’s maple syrup supplies come from Quebec. We are so proficient at using the word “eh” that it appears as a valid term in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. You can write a letter to Santa Claus in any language and send it to the postal code H0H…

How Do You Measure Grief?

Posted on June 28, 2018

I spent some of morning yesterday speaking to a remarkable group of global academics, psychologists and numerous knowledgeable leaders from a variety of fields and who get together every two years in various locations around the world two discuss the implications of some of humanity’s greatest sadness.  This year they were in Canada. Officially titled the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, I realized I was standing before a gathering of activists who seek to not only understand grief but to influence policymakers who hold the responsibility of improving the global conditions that lead to such earthly pain.  It was a challenge just to be in their midst; to address them was more than a little intimidating. If we desired to understand…

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