The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “isolation

The Most Terrible Poverty

Posted on November 30, 2018

We probably all know this, but in an increasingly economic world we make poverty to be something about money, or the lack of it.  Yet it’s more.  It’s one thing to lack capital, but it inevitably leads to a shortage of social capital as well. In recent decades access to economic well-being has increasingly split our modern societies into two – better known as the haves and the have-nots.  That distinction has always been there, but in recent years it has become a wide chasm that few can cross.  That leads to making difficult choices or not being able to make any choices at all. Increasingly, those being pushed to society’s margins find themselves not only economically bereft but socially struggling as well.  Regardless…

We Won’t Get to the Future if We Can’t Survive the Present

Posted on October 18, 2018

Since the beginning of time people have worried about their future, especially in days of war, transition and rapid change.  But nothing has matched the revolution that technology has introduced and the speed of change is now a light speed.  So, yes, people have a right to be worried. But before we descend too deeply into that madness, perhaps we should be worried about just getting through the present.  We’re not doing well at it.  What’s the source of that information?  Think IKEA. That’s right, a world leading furniture company that annually publishes research reports on how people live in relation to their homes.  If that doesn’t very revolutionary, think again. The most publicized finding of their most recent report involving 22,000 people in 22…

Tackling Seniors’ Isolation

Posted on March 24, 2018

As London sees its population age, a new reality is emerging that challenges our sense of collective well-being: seniors’ hunger and isolation. As we get older, life shifts in unexpected ways. The one-time caregiver needs some caring, the citizen needs her community, families require some assistance. It’s a subject we don’t discuss much, but the idea of older citizens lost in loneliness or pining for a meal is one of the quiet tragedies that places a lengthening shadow on community life every day. A spotlight needs to be shone on it and perhaps that’s the greatest service London’s Meals on Wheels program provides us. What started out as a humanitarian impulse in churches has now become a larger London necessity. The organization delivers more…

Closing the Distance

Posted on March 22, 2018

Speaking to an American university graduating class two years before he died, former playwright and Czech president Vaclav Havel said something that caused the auditorium to do some serious thinking: “The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought.” He knew his audience.  America’s youth, like those in most nations then and today, was fed up with the kind of politics that got increasingly ugly the more it grew ineffective.  Yet the final six words of his quote lit a fire – “the more energetically meaning is sought.”  It was true of those students, as it is of us.  We want more than a politics that just can’t inspire. Perhaps the…

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…

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