The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “humanity

History’s Most Troubling Chapter

Posted on February 8, 2017

It seems like every time we see a list of the greatest problems faced by our troubled world that the refugee challenge is repeatedly positioned in the top five. At no time since World War Two has the subject dominated us in such a fashion. Yet we frequently fail to understand how the narrative of people moving across the planet in fear of their lives has been developing, with each generation facing unique hurdles and implementing new solutions. Take a look at the chart above, provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and via the good folks at VOX. It’s staggering and a revealing glimpse as to why so many think the world is a deeply troubled place. Conflict, persecution and…

As the World Moves

Posted on July 29, 2016

Read this post on National Newswatch here. IN CANADA, THERE IS FREQUENTLY THE SENSE that the refugees brought into the country in the last year posed not only a challenge but a kind of calling card to the world of why we still remain such a compassionate land. We feel good about what we’ve done. The disruption of thousands of Syrians families into our communities has been slight compared to the sense of inclusion and accomplishment the challenge created for us. Yet all this can provide a rather rosy sense of the refugee problem that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the world. It has been reported that there are more displaced people and families in the world than at any time…

Light in the Tunnel

Posted on July 7, 2016

WITH THE DEATH OF ELIE WIESEL I find myself wondering if the world is in the final stages of going silent. There was once the great pantheon of moral voices that housed individual so gigantic on the world stage that their very words could summon generations to action. We know who they were: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Vaclav Havel, Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and a few others. Most became Nobel Peace Prize winners and went on to challenge their world to stop taking things so easily. A Holocaust survivor, Wiesel became the clarion voice against human injustice in these last few decades. Everything he said and wrote came from the backdrop of Auschwitz – memories from which he had to endure until his final…

The Good in Common

Posted on February 23, 2016

WALK ALONG THE STREETS OF ANY Canadian city for a few minutes and you’re inevitably presented with a conundrum. There at the front entrance of a store or on a busy pedestrian corner is a homeless individual seeking help. All at once you are confused – to help or journey by? This isn’t a post about poverty, but it is about Canadian citizens being confronted with the troubling possibility that our systems of compassion are failing. Author Robert Bellah put it poignantly regarding the American context: “… the difficulty of being a good person in the absence of a good society.” Either way, whether we withhold money from that homeless person or provide some spare change, we inwardly understand that neither option is the…

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