The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “hope

The Christmas Story Was Written For the Sorrowful

Posted on December 16, 2017

We go about wishing each other happy holidays and a merry Christmas, but sometimes the holiday season can be cruel. For some people, it’s a reminder of ones we deeply loved who are no longer with us. The holidays will arrive without them this year, and it’s likely the coming weeks will feel more like a survival course than a season of celebration. As London follows its seasonal narrative of gift-shopping, celebrations, lights, music, family gatherings, sumptuous dinners and endless snacks, among us will be many moving like shadows through it all, struggling in their sense of loss yet attempting to live up to the expectations of others. Along with the joy we share together, any good city recognizes the pain of others. The…

The Dangers of Coping

Posted on March 14, 2017

They arrived in a manila package at our Calgary home one day, sometime in 1956. Our family gathered around as Dad pulled out the architectural drawings and laid them on the table. They were plans for how to construct and stock a bomb shelter in case of an atomic war. A large silver siren located on top of a long white pole occasionally reminded us of that fact, as occasionally it would emit a practice wail in preparation for the real thing. For an entire generation of Canadians, none of this is strange. The Cold War was actually heating up and the threat to human existence always seemed to hang precariously in the balance. Popular music and movies were always there to remind us…

Sleeves Rolled Up

Posted on December 30, 2016

IF SOCIAL MEDIA IS ANY INDICATION, 2016’s end couldn’t come quickly enough. Somehow the last 12 months have left millions with the compelling urge to turn the page and get on with something better. It’s not difficult to understand why this angst seems so universal. It has been a year of significant challenges and disappointments. Political turbulence, economic stagnation, the frustrations of the middle class, environmental decline — this list could just go on and on with issues that are striking insecurity into the hearts of citizens and leaders alike. A clue to what was happening occurred partway through 2016 when Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks claimed, “The system is broken, the problems are not new, the violence is not new and the racial divide definitely…

Christmas Prep – Hope

Posted on December 23, 2016

SO MUCH OF THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON is predicated on things from other eras. Gifts, trees, carols, decorations, sentimentalizing snow, turkey, Santa, Bethlehem, trying to fill the kids with a sense of wonder, religious services, and community celebrations with lights – none of these were created by us but by our ancestors and we personalize them each December to fit our own holiday circumstances. In all of this the past can give meaning to the present. Yet occasionally it becomes instead a mindless following of cultural expectations, or as Todd Stocker would write of it, “Sometimes we get so enamoured with the tradition of something that we forget the intent of it.” We can modernize the Christmas season all we want, but with each passing…

A Strange Case of Hope

Posted on December 29, 2015

IT SEEMS COUNTERINTUITIVE, BUT IT’S REAL.   Despite the overriding sense that violence and bloodshed have extended their grip of fear globally, statistics reveal we have never been closer to establishing international peace. Despite the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the terror that is ISIS, and the bloodshed emanating from Syria, the reality is that they stagger us because in fact they are becoming more rare. Go deeper into the statistics and we discover that tragedies like murder, domestic violence, torture, and capital punishment have been steadily on the decline. Just ask Steven Pinker, a Harvard psychologist, and best-selling author. He wrote a book in 2011, titled The Better Angels of Our Nature, in which he made the following staggering statement: “The decline in violence…

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