The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “giving

A Manger’s Long Shadow

Posted on December 24, 2015

HE APPROACHED US LAST FRIDAY morning during the Day of Giving that Bell Media was running for the London Food Bank. The downtown market was busy but somehow he seemed familiar. He dropped his three bags of groceries into the waiting bin, stopped for a moment, and said quietly to me, “Thanks for all you’re doing for folks. I’ve had to use the food bank during some of the worst moments of my life and I just felt I had to give back.” I asked him for his phone number so we could talk later and then he was off. When we finally connected later in the day, he told me of how his parents had been killed in a car accident when he…

The Great Gathering

Posted on December 25, 2014

EVEN AS FAR BACK AS 1611, THE GREAT POET John Donne put down in writing his worries of what would happen if everyone simply became a nation of individuals. In using terms like, “all coherence is gone,” “all is just supply,” and “every man is alone,” he laid out for his generation, in strong poetic flourish, the need for humanity to stay in touch with one another, to plan as though their collective life mattered equally as much as their personal pursuits. Donne had a point then, as he clearly does now. In his time, villages were emptying out as the masses departed for the great cities. And yet he witnessed that the residents of those great locations seemed eerily out of touch with one…

Lit From Within

Posted on December 18, 2014

IT WAS TOUCHING, HUMOROUS, AND A SIGN of the changing times in our city. Newly elected city council member Jared Zaifman, in a reflection of his Jewish faith, brought in latkes for his counterparts as a celebration of Hanukkah. Zaifman’s reasoning was simple and profound at the same time: I brought latkes for council and staff to have because very simply, this is a food that I indulge in over this time of the year, and I wanted to share that hospitality and treat with them.  I am very proud of my heritage and traditions, and I think being able to share that and give people a better understanding of my background and practices goes a long way in allowing us a better understanding…

Why Do We Give?

Posted on November 12, 2013

This past weekend’s activities, along with speaking with some Afghanistan veterans during yesterday’s Remembrance Day activities, put me in a philosophical mood. Seeing so many citizens put their best foot forward caused me to ask, “Why do people give so generously?” Lots of theories popped into my mind, but still, the act of sacrificing something you own for someone else is perhaps the most noble trait resident within the human race.  Some give in order to get something in return (recognition or favour), while others donate through a kind of enlightened self-interest.  Still others give because there is a personal connection to some ultimate cause. And then you volunteer for the London Food Bank in the Santa Claus parade and you witness another dimension…

On Being Bigger Than We Are

Posted on April 6, 2012

It’s Easter – Good Friday – and that should mean something, shouldn’t it? I don’t mean in any way particularly religious, but in a more human fashion. We’re supposed to remember, as at times like November 11th, that a good man died. He was someone who longed for more – the end of poverty, the rights of the ignored, the importance of children, the need people have for personal redemption, the importance of forgiveness, the need for injustice to be corrected. Many have permitted their dislike of religion to overlook what it’s like to have personal longings that are greater than our ability to fulfill them – our quest exceeds our grasp. Others, like myself, find great inspiration in what is the noble death…


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