The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Personal” Category

A Neat Symbol of Ingestion

Posted on February 27, 2018

The contrast was stark – and telling. En route back to Canada following a trip to South Sudan, our team was on a layover at Frankfurt. Eager for news – any news – I purchased a Time magazine, poring over its pages to see if anything significant had transpired while we were disconnected from the broader world. And there they were, two adjacent stories which together spelled out so much of what is going wrong and right with the modern world. Molly Ball’s compelling narrative concerning President Trump’s visit to Davos for the annual Global Economic Forum revealed just how much has changed in the past year. Most present had grown more at ease regarding Trump’s influence. One year ago, they were collectively on…

Is Our World Getting Any Better?

Posted on February 15, 2018

Is the world getting better or worse? It’s a ridiculous question really – not just because it depends on who you ask, but because a single answer proves impossible. The conclusion can only be that it is both. Plenty of research has been published legitimizing both arguments. As a kid growing up in Calgary in the 1950s, both dynamics framed my larger view of the world. It seemed a dangerous planet. The threat of imminent nuclear conflict challenged many of our neighbours to consider constructing bomb shelters. Polio made families insecure. Racism hovered over us as a dark cloud, given what was erupting south of the border. Most nations were anything but democratic and were frequently volatile. The communist threat was everywhere. Sadly, three…

In a Dysfunctional World, Individual Potential Matters More Than Ever

Posted on February 8, 2018

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of us, are feeling the tug to just give up.  We shun giving in because we instinctively understand that the direction much of the world is travelling is inequitable and unsustainable.  Yet a kind of resignation is confronting so many of us as we sense that little we do seems to change anything.  For all the mention of the importance of the individual in democracy the reality is we feel alienated by the sweeping power of globalization, the impending timetable of climate change, and the sense that democracy is in trouble around the world. And then those moments of personal meaning occur when we come to understand that our lives can alter the destiny for others, instilling within them,…

Between Two Worlds

Posted on January 31, 2018

In a modern hurried-up world, they rank as some of the least understood or acknowledged forces for policy, diplomacy, human justice or humanitarianism.  There are less than 200 of them in a world of billions and inevitably become the face of their country. I’m speaking of ambassadors.  They are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  They aren’t the celebrity type, appointed by UNICEF or other vast organizations because of their profile.  Instead, most have gone through years of foreign service training that includes a background in foreign aid, conflict management, military functioning, and communications. In Canada’s case, our international reputation owes much to the high quality of diplomatic acumen in key regions of the globe, especially during the formative years of the 1940s,…

No Time For Easy Tears

Posted on January 9, 2018

My wife and I leave in a few days to lead a humanitarian team into South Sudan (casscanada.ca).  A trek we make every year at this time, this coming visit is occurring during a time of dramatic challenge in South Sudan specifically, and Africa in general. In various African nations, youth are increasingly coming onside for democracy.  Foreign Policy magazine cites examples from numerous nations where younger generations are making their desire for a better life a premise for change. “Their optimism has been buoyed in part by the rise of an aggressively independent media, the maturing of institutions such as the judiciary, and by the explosion of nongovernmental organizations fighting to hold governments accountable despite increasingly restrictive conditions … Never in Africa’s independent…

%d bloggers like this: