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Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “humanitarianism

How Do You Measure Grief?

Posted on June 28, 2018

I spent some of morning yesterday speaking to a remarkable group of global academics, psychologists and numerous knowledgeable leaders from a variety of fields and who get together every two years in various locations around the world two discuss the implications of some of humanity’s greatest sadness.? This year they were in Canada. Officially titled the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, I realized I was standing before a gathering of activists who seek to not only understand grief but to influence policymakers who hold the responsibility of improving the global conditions that lead to such earthly pain.? It was a challenge just to be in their midst; to address them was more than a little intimidating. If we desired to understand…

In a Dysfunctional World, Individual Potential Matters More Than Ever

Posted on February 8, 2018

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of us, are feeling the tug to just give up.? We shun giving in because we instinctively understand that the direction much of the world is travelling is inequitable and unsustainable.? Yet a kind of resignation is confronting so many of us as we sense that little we do seems to change anything.? For all the mention of the importance of the individual in democracy the reality is we feel alienated by the sweeping power of globalization, the impending timetable of climate change, and the sense that democracy is in trouble around the world. And then those moments of personal meaning occur when we come to understand that our lives can alter the destiny for others, instilling within them,…

Canada’s Kind of World

Posted on August 17, 2016

PERHAPS THE GREATEST TEMPTATION IN THE WORLD of government is the politics of the urgent, and in a world of bad news the pressure to “do something” becomes endless. The recent incident in Strathroy, Ontario, of a man suspected of plotting a terrorist attack only provides further fodder for those concerned over the presently precarious state of the world. Turkey, Syria, France, mass shootings, individual acts of madness – all of these occurrences are pressing on the Canadian government at once, with pundits endlessly reminding us that something has to be done before our planet blows up. But there is another world out there – a global place of collaboration and effectiveness that continues to get glossed over in favour of front page headlines.…

Lead by Example or Force: Which is It?

Posted on November 26, 2015

IN 2003, THE U.S. ARMY SPONSORED a conference in Washington to consider the possibilities of soft power, among other things. When asked by the media what he thought of the insights into soft power that had just been presented, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appeared a bit miffed and answered, “I don’t know what it means.” That lack of understanding and appreciation of power in its other low-key forms would ultimately contribute to the chaotic nature of the Iraq war. But, in truth, the lack of knowledge of soft power is part of our problem as well, especially as Canada continues to mull over its role as part of the 65-member coalition fighting ISIS. And when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to help…

It’s Not All About Bombs

Posted on November 24, 2015

OUR FAMILY HAS BEEN WATCHING THE REFUGEE CRISIS?with interest, and with good reason. Our one daughter was a southern Sudanese refugee and her brother and sister internally displaced persons (IDPs) before coming to Canada. Our work in South Sudan entails providing essential needs for refugees flooding into the area from surrounding nations. So, yes, the fate of millions with no home (11 million from Syria alone) draws us to our screens. For Canadians, the discussion on what to do about ISIS has formed the dilemma easily into two parts: keep our military forces in attack mode or pull them out. The focus of hopes and fears has fallen on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and which option he will choose. It’s likely he will opt…

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