The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “courage

Heather Stewart – A Humanitarian Hero’s Last Flight

Posted on December 28, 2017

News of her death brought sorrow flowing through our home. Heather Stewart, a frontier pilot in a field dominated almost exclusively by male counterparts, lived one of those remarkable lives that only a place like Africa could produce. It was repeatedly like something from the movies. In a land so vast, barren and dangerous, she journeyed, lingered, and faced mortality head-on for the sake of the seemingly hopeless southern Sudanese situation and the non-governmental agencies seeking to help. Jane and I were on many of those journeys and returned from that remarkable land with tales of the valiant woman’s exploits. She was nicknamed “All Weather Heather” for her willingness to lift off when other pilots remained sensibly and safely on the ground. But in…

Election 2015: Do What You’re Afraid to Do

Posted on September 9, 2015

HIS AIDES STRONGLY ENCOURAGED HIM to beg off from the engagement. It was believed that rioting was about to break out across the country, and here in Indianapolis human anger would pour out onto the streets. It was rainy and cold, and so dark that the Life magazine photographer couldn’t shoot what came to be an epic scene. His speechwriter had cobbled together some hasty notes for his boss but they were tucked away, unused. When Robert Kennedy climbed aboard the flatbed truck that evening, he asked the mayor of the city, “Do they know?” he asked, nodding at the crowd. “To some extent,” came the reply. “We thought we’d leave that up to you.” It was then that Bobby Kennedy, candidate for the…

Towards the Noise

Posted on June 2, 2015

ARE CANADIANS STILL A BIG PICTURE PEOPLE? To answer that properly we would have to drill down to where our greatest aspirations reside. And when we do that we discover some hope. At least generally, citizens across the country still affirm their beliefs that they desire their country to practice a peaceful influence in the world, to be more tolerant, to eliminate child poverty, to become a more environmentally sustainable place, to respect our veterans, and to always be ready to lead in innovation and change. And yet we’ve reached the stage in our national life where we no longer trust our leaders at all levels – political or corporate – to guarantee that we can, in fact, retain these values we believe in.…

Experience: The Lifeblood of Leadership

Posted on January 8, 2015

SHE DIDN’T START OUT WITH HER PRESENT position, but where she has ended up has placed her at the epicentre of the political/economic debate in America. In 1978, Congress had passed a law making it easier for individuals and companies to declare bankruptcy. It had upset Elizabeth Warren and so she, “set out to prove they were all a bunch of cheaters and that those declaring bankruptcy should be exposed, “because they were just taking advantage of the rest of us.” She was smart, shrewd, and had research assistants to prove her case. The problem was, she was wrong. The research revealed that the vast majority of those in bankruptcy courts were from hardworking middle-class families, or from small businesses, who had their life savings…

Mayors: You Say You Want A Revolution?

Posted on September 24, 2014

DOES IT TAKE STRONG DOSES OF COURAGE TO OCCUPY the position of mayor? One wouldn’t think so at the civic level, and yet politics has changed significantly enough that mayors attempting to take their cities along a more successful path must oppose powerful influences that have stood as obstacles to any new direction. Last week I watched the entire Ken Burns’ seven-part series on the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. It was remarkable in the telling. All three came from generational wealth and could have spent their lifetimes plying their investments and overseeing their small empires. Instead they believed that their financial security required that they expended their lifetimes cultivating the public good, and their chief vehicle for ensuring…

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