The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Personal” Category

“And” or “But”

Posted on May 4, 2018

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” So wrote Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.  And he’s right – perhaps in this age more than any other, when anger can flash everywhere, even across borders, at the speed of light.  It’s seems like the more we judge others the less we understand life, or history, or most dangerous of all, ourselves. Somehow, we become smaller, the better angels of our nature receding into the dark distance. Yesterday’s post about Senator John McCain was prompted by just such a circumstance.  The person I spoke to felt confident…

A Deeper Code

Posted on May 3, 2018

Senator John McCain’s name came up in a discussion yesterday following mention of what could be one of his final communications before his brain tumour takes its final toll.  The young man’s view was that this is just another self-serving politician who’s lived off the political system for years and it’s time to replace him anyway. When I mentioned McCain’s being a POW in Vietnam, the response was, “Yeah, but think how terrible he was supporting Bush and some of the stupid votes he made.” And so it goes.  We are rapidly losing the ability to place people in some kind of context that truly represents their life and not just the part we disagree with.  That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post, but…

A City’s Potential Stifled By Self-Doubt

Posted on April 24, 2018

The quote holds out hope for what a mid-sized city can become: “These cities have the potential to become leaders of sustainable and inclusive city-building initiatives across Canada.” It’s posted on the website of Evergreen Canada, a group coming to London on May 15-16 to see if we can make the cut as a municipality dynamic enough to carve out a more prosperous and meaningful future for itself. That Evergreen is coming to London at all, in co-operation with numerous local organizations, might be a sign that it values our potential, but it could just as well be a recognition that we are floundering enough as a community that we could use some outside help. It’s tough in a country as spread out as…

Our Shared Humanity

Posted on April 22, 2018

Born a few minutes apart, they had a scant 30 weeks together before the death of their mother in war wrenched them away from each other.  They were identical twins, sharing the mystery of human DNA, and they deserved to face the world together.  It was not to be. Five years later, however, in a remarkable movement of destiny, they looked upon each other once again, confused at seeing their image so clearly represented on another face.  When informed they were twins, identical, they reached out, took the other’s hand, and wandered off to play soccer – hundreds of eyes on them lost in wonder. Today, Abuk and Achan turn 18.  Jane and I have watched them grow up every day, etching their height…

Shakespeare’s Still Cool

Posted on April 18, 2018

We don’t know the exact date of his birth, but England’s most famous writer was born in the month of April in 1564 – 554 years and half a millennium ago.   Asked about William Shakespeare, author Virginia Woolf noted, “The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare.”  Maybe yes, maybe no.  In a world full of easily accessed information and endless publications, it would be easy to assume that the great English bard has been transcended by our modern penchant for data. Virginia might have jumped the gun.  If we were to take the time to research our own words, we would discover that William Shakespeare adds punch to our own sayings.  British journalist Bernard Levin took on just such an…

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