If you’ve ever picked up a copy of the Maine Edge, you undoubtedly have experienced the genius that is Todd Parker. He’s a modern day Dear Abby with a serious attitude and a razor sharp tongue. What I most appreciate about Todd is that he provides an invaluable service:
He tells the truth with all the subtlety of a Mack truck driving through your living room.
It’s a rare thing to communicate with someone who will simply rip through whatever mind fuck you might be stuck in by saying, “Yeah, you screwed up, but here’s what you’re still missing” or, “Yeah, you’ve been put in the middle. Let’s look at the boundaries you failed to set and how you might resolve this.”
His advice is impeccably practical and yet it shows awareness of underlying emotions and inner conflicts. For exactly these reasons, I have always suspected that Todd Parker (a pen name) is actually a woman. I don’t often enough see the kind of insight and awareness that “Todd” demonstrates from men.
I sincerely hope that I’m wrong. The world needs more men who can balance what we’ve traditionally conceptualized as “masculine” and “feminine” perspectives. The most effective and supportive people, regardless of their biological sex or identified gender, tend to be folks who can view the needs, feelings, and relationships of others from multiple viewpoints. Further, they are secure enough within themselves to fearlessly call us out on denial, avoidance, or self deception.
I make my living doing a slightly more glorified version of what Todd does. I help people resolve conflicts and claim their own truth. There are countless barriers that make truth hard to find. False beliefs, traumatic experiences, betrayal, addiction, and anxiety chief amongst them. Moreover, when we sense that recognizing the truth will compel us to move outside of our comfort zone, it’s far easier to obscure than accept.
Old adages ring true, “It’s all in how you look at it.” Perception is the lens through which we seek to make sense of ourselves and others. Most people go through life without meaningfully examining the lens itself. Having our perspective challenged provides opportunities to gain clarity.
We all have blind spots. That’s why we need people in our lives who will challenge us, who won’t hesitate to tell us when we’re wrong, and who care enough to hit us over the head when we need it. Sometimes we legitimately just can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s more often the case that the truth simply hurts too much to see.
As a straight shooter, Todd Parker isn’t just a guy to be admired. He’s a person well worth emulating.