The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Personal” 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…

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 – 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 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…

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