The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “optimism

When We Feel We Can’t Make a Difference

Posted on May 21, 2015

“RATIONALIZATION,” SAID AUTHOR AYN RAND, “is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotion.” We’ve all been there and often regretted not proceeding with something we felt we should achieve. There are occasions when we don’t take something on because we have reasoned that it wouldn’t work anyway, even if we feel it was important to others or ourselves. We’re not talking about excuses here, where we didn’t want to do something anyway and manufactured reasons for declining. This is different. This is where we experience the desire to take something on, but have developed some reasons, often through experience, that make us hesitant. It’s not because we’re looking for an out; we just think the odds against…

Politics Without Inspiration = Fear

Posted on March 17, 2015

“PEOPLE GO TO FAR GREATER LENGTHS to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire,” noted one of the characters in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and our current brand of politics is proving this – over and over again. Manipulative politics understands that, while humans are naturally moved by hope, they are far more motivated by what they are afraid of; it’s been in our DNA from the beginning. They play to it, believing that it’s easier to get people into the voting booth through what they’re afraid of than by what inspires them. And so, in an increasingly dangerous world, political success is deemed to be located in that sweet spot where terror intersects with citizenship. This dynamic is increasingly…

The Curse of Blind Optimism

Posted on January 29, 2013

Recently our city’s mayor, in giving his annual address, made an interesting request of a large part of London’s population: “Keep your negativity on the sideline … give good news a chance.” This is becoming increasingly difficult to accomplish in a community with frustratingly high unemployment and a deeply divided political council. Alas, such advice is increasingly received as the plaintive gesture of an ineffective political order. It is all the more remarkable considering the city’s desire to hear from average citizens about the kind of city they want. In a community struggling to find a future one can hardly expect input to be merely roses – especially with a kind of political leadership experiencing difficulty working through its own divisions. We are slowly…