The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “change

2018 Wish – Real Democracy

Posted on December 31, 2018

If democracy is rife with anything, it’s opinions.  Social media has only added to that intensity.  Studies reveal that citizens not only hold more opinions but that they are increasingly reticent to change them.  That’s why we’ve been hearing so much in recent years about how it’s growing increasingly impossible to change the minds of others, even when research and real evidence shows they’re wrong. – people just refuse to open the doors and windows to their minds.  Part of that is because social media places us within filter bubbles that only send to us what we agree with.  Another part is our inability to see the broader implications of our views. Politicians are totally flummoxed by this growing reality, unsure of the political terrain and how to remain…

Christmas On The Ground

Posted on December 24, 2018

Christmas not only endures, but frequently transcends the times in which it finds itself.  In Christian tradition, that first Christmas story should have been over before it started.  A pregnant unwed mother has to travel many miles on a donkey, alongside an obscure carpenter that would soon be her husband.  The great political machine decided it was time to take a census and forced thousands of people back to their home villages to be accounted for. To make it worse, they are poor and there is no place for the mother to have her child, other than a small stable for animals. And yet it worked to an astounding degree – just like all the great inspirational stories over the centuries.  Whether they were real or not ends up…

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…

Labyrinth

Posted on April 26, 2018

The thing about rage only two decades into the 21stcentury is that it’s everywhere.  In past eras it brewed in turbulent hotspots – the Middle East, India-Pakistan, the Balkans, the Congo, Nicaragua, among others – usually far away and, in consequence, far from our minds.  But the individual and collective anger has spread to normally stable places around the globe – Germany, France, Norway, Britain and most obviously in the United States. In his Meditations, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius cogently noted, “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”  It seems to me that some are coming to terms with this observation.  The “age of rage” has been rolling on for years and the change which that kind…

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…