The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “values

Summer Reflections – Don’t Let Them Die

Posted on July 10, 2018

In Victor Hugo’s tale Notre-Dame de Paris,composed in the 15thcentury, the printing press had just been developed and the Archdeacon of the great cathedral, Claude Frollo, stands outside and holds his first printed book in his hands.  Its quality and potential both fascinate and trouble him.  He looks from the pages of the book up to the spires of the great cathedral and says, “This will kill that.” He wasn’t correct, of course, but the printed word challenged the church and most other 15-century institutions in remarkable ways.  Yet that new technology didn’t so much kill God as take the concept of a higher being public and served to democratize the church along paths no one could have predicted. In retelling Hugo’s story of…

Millennials Seek New Way to Effect Change

Posted on February 10, 2018

Like many other mid-sized cities, London is dealing with a difference in generational attitudes — value distinctions that affect everything from public transportation to employment, locally grown food, neighbourhoods and politics. To date, the friction generated among demographic groups is largely unresolved and that reality partly explains why so many citizens feel frustrated at our collective dysfunction. Neither our politics nor our civil society has succeeded in creating a shared vision. Research increasingly shows how millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995) approach community life differently than the generations that preceded them. A recent Deloitte survey found millennials believe businesses should focus more on people than profits, are politically independent and distrustful of partisanship, and are far more inclined to use public transit than…

Christmas Prep – Adventure

Posted on December 8, 2016

AS ALICE WRESTLED WITH UNDERSTANDING HER new surroundings in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the Gryphon reminds her, “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” The meaning of Christmas has been defined in countless ways over the centuries, but the chief call of the season to us is to live it. It’s not just about nestling in front of the fire or gathering around the dinner table, but of stretching ourselves in ways we normally wouldn’t consider. It’s a challenge as old as the initial Christmas story, where riders on camels followed a star, of shepherd who journeyed down from the hills to the manger, and of a young mother who travelled for days on camel, accompanied by her betrothed,…

Working on Myself

Posted on April 5, 2016

THE ACTION OF PUTTING WORDS ON PAPER or on a screen really isn’t rocket science – millions of people do it everyday. What’s more curious is why they do it, why they choose to take time out of their busy lives to put thoughts together in hopefully legible form? When Helvy Rosa, the Indonesian playwright, observed that, “You are what you write,” she provided a universal truth. Trolls voice their internal venom; lovers pen their sonnets of romance; researchers must unlock by the use of words the mysteries of scientific reasoning; political pundits enjoy dispensing their seasoned observations. People write the fountains bubbling within them, even when the water is poisoned. For some of us who write, the greatest creation in all of civilization…

Poverty’s Great Unknown – Facets of Us

Posted on February 19, 2015

IN SPEAKING FREQUENTLY EACH WEEK, it’s becoming clear that more and more groups are broaching the subject of poverty and what might be done about it. They have become aware that the London Food Bank is attempting to develop a new model in which people can be treated with greater dignity, offered more personal choice, and achieve success at avoiding the problems of “poverty stigmatism.” In an interview yesterday I was asked why the food bank doesn’t just close its doors and get on with the delivering a new way of doing things. The answer to that question is actually fairly simple: communities are complex organisms and if any change is to prove successful, then citizens, organizations, and food bank users themselves must be brought…

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