The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “dignity

An Empty Spot On the Bench

Posted on January 13, 2015

WHEN EFFECTIVE ADVOCATES FOR DEMOCRACY ultimately leave the stage through retirement or death, it’s not always true that their absence is noted. Lose a Mandela, Vaclav Havel, or a Maya Angelou and almost immediately the tributes and stories flood the airwaves. Yet every year we lose many of democracy’s greatest champions without even knowing it, often not even recognizing their names. A candle goes out and we merely transfer our interests to another. The voice of Bill Moyers finally went silent on PBS news stations a few weeks ago, leaving a significant vacancy in our overall struggle for a fairer and more equitable society. Moyers was sage, highly knowledgable, and intensely courageous for those things he devoutly espoused. Some regarded him as a throwback…

What Would Jesus Ask Santa?

Posted on December 24, 2013

He was a Christmas angel, though I couldn’t spot it at first. We had been going into Westmount Mall on Friday evening to just cheer on the volunteers who had been wrapping Christmas presents in return for a donation to the London Food Bank.  It was pouring rain, and on the way in the door I noticed a man standing off to the side who was obviously having a difficult time.  He appeared down and out and discouragement seemed to mark his disposition.  We went on inside and then I suddenly thought better of it. “I’m getting a coffee for some volunteers inside; can I get you one?” I asked. He smiled at that point and though he had first declined, he went on…

Kellogg’s – We’re Not Done Yet

Posted on December 13, 2013

I LOOKED UP SO SEE FOUR PEOPLE coming down our driveway.  They introduced themselves, but it’s what they said next that set the tone: “We’re from Kellogg’s.” They were insecure but had lots to say about wanting me back in politics, about the corporate agenda, about what this community has meant to them.  And then, sadly: “Glen, how do we get help from the food bank when the time comes?” This is rapidly becoming the state of modern community life – people who helped arrange food drives at Kellogg’s were now going to require some of that very food themselves.  This is no way to run a society, and nor is it any way to treat people who built our cities and regions.  Sadly,…

Preserving The Best In Us

Posted on April 16, 2012

He was good, real good. Spending this past weekend in Toronto with Michael Ignatieff and his wife Zsuszanna was a lesson to me in grace. They had been through a tumultuous few years and the kind of federal politics we have in Canada right now can take a severe toll. But as he and I conversed while touring through the ROM museum, he talked of how he loves teaching, of some of the writings he’s doing for various journals, and how he worries over some of the hot spots around the world. But it was more. He taught my kids how to use chopsticks at a lovely Chinese restaurant that he frequents to help it stay in business in a struggling economy. He worked…


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