The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “perspective

The Secret Nook – Chapter 5 (Back in Time)

Posted on September 30, 2018

She checked the speedometer, gratified to see the needle hovering around 60 mph – the legal speed limit. The journey from her Charlottesville apartment to Clifton Forge, roughly from east to west, was only around 80 miles as the crow flies, but the winding track and steep climb up into the Blue Ridge Mountains took its time.  Meadow was still able to spot some beds of snow at various points in the higher elevations, but they were mostly gone now that summer was about to make its grand entrance. The Ford-150 pickup easily handled both the climb and the turns.  Les had been insistent. He knew that Meadow had sold her mother’s old car after she died and had resorted to taking public transport in…

“And” or “But”

Posted on May 4, 2018

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” So wrote Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.  And he’s right – perhaps in this age more than any other, when anger can flash everywhere, even across borders, at the speed of light.  It’s seems like the more we judge others the less we understand life, or history, or most dangerous of all, ourselves. Somehow, we become smaller, the better angels of our nature receding into the dark distance. Yesterday’s post about Senator John McCain was prompted by just such a circumstance.  The person I spoke to felt confident…

Progress Despite All That Negativity

Posted on April 14, 2018

This week I posted a quiz compiled by Hans Rosling regarding our knowledge of the broader world, specifically the strides made in global health and poverty.  You can find that post here.  I heard from a number of folks taking the quiz that they failed – miserably.  We laughed when I told them I only got half of the questions right.  Inwardly I chastised myself for my own lack of knowledge. Rosling, in his book Factfulness,takes that quiz a little further and talks about the results.  The findings are fascinating and troubling – especially in a series of questions that are neither trick queries or realities that can’t be found thousands of times on the internet.  In some research of 12000 respondents, here’s what…

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…

Depth Time

Posted on July 29, 2014

IT WAS THE USUAL KIND OF PARTY WHERE FRIENDS gather together for a BBQ and some good times. The host found me in her living room scanning the various books in her shelves beside the fireplace. There were the familiar titles of history, philosophy, economics, and politics. When I complemented her on her selection, she remarked, “They are actually from my university days and I treasure them. But the truth is I haven’t read them since. There’s just no time.” It’s a common tale – one heard more frequently as life piles on responsibility after responsibility. There was a time when the idea of thinking deeply was a worthy pursuit. It equated the reader (or writer) with life’s more profound treasures and mysteries and supposedly…

  

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