The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “activism

Beyond Measure

Posted on September 5, 2018

With all the shenanigans erupting in Washington and America at present, it was disappointing to watch a couple of political activists kick Bernie Sanders to the curb in a recent interview.  They were excited about some new blood from their own generation winning primaries as part of the growing socialist movement in the Democratic party.  All that is exciting and speaks to the need for democracy to renew itself, but to regard Sanders as irrelevant is a sad portent – specifically because if that pattern continues, then they, too, will eventually be sidelined in similar fashion. Bernie Sander’s history of activism is important because he was once where these activists are, only the price he paid for his beliefs was likely more severe.  The…

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…

Behind Lincoln’s Back

Posted on September 8, 2017

It has become known as one of the greatest protest movements of the modern era, and one of its most poignant and powerful moments was the great March on Washington by those fighting for civil rights. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., some 250,000 people (70% of whom were black) gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It became an iconic moment for how to mobilize and empower a nonviolent rally. It could have turned out another way, however. John Lewis, now an American black congressman but on that day in 1963 was only 23 years old, tells of a key moment that ultimately turned the rally into a success. Lewis was an angry and young black activist…

2016: Do What’s Missing

Posted on January 1, 2016

THIS PAST YEAR WAS A MIXED BAG for most of us. Mirroring our own personal highs and lows has been a larger world with both turbulence and progress. On the individual side, many of us will regret old resolutions unfulfilled and make new promises today in hopes of improving ourselves, and our circumstances. But what of the bigger problems of the world? We don’t even know where to begin in all the complexity. Somewhere deep down must come the understanding that these two dimensions – personal and collective – are intertwined at the deepest of human levels. We lash out, at least in our minds, at perpetrators in Syria or North Korea, in politics or in finance, finding in such figures the reason for…

Revolutions Without Revolutionaries

Posted on June 9, 2015

‘IF WE REALLY WANT TO MAKE CHANGE, then it’s time we used social media.” We’ve heard this often, but given the experience of the last few years one wonders if it’s accurate. It’s vital, to be sure, but it’s hardly the cure-all for democracy, our communities, or even the fate of humanity. We can be forgiven for wanting this to be true. The world requires change and we know it. The Internet seemed the obvious tool of choice, and its immediacy and punch often satisfied the momentary emotion we felt. But there’s a sense that its reach (and it is immense) doesn’t quite match its grasp. The reason for this is what it has always been: revolutionary tools (printing press, television, Internet) don’t necessarily…

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