The parrot on your shoulder

It can be your best friend.  And it can be exasperatingly annoying.  After all, parrots are beautiful but only intermittently smart.  They speak our language so they can be comforting.  But they tend to repeat themselves, ad nauseam with random gibberish, which can be obnoxious.

The parrot, like the ego, tends to think it knows what is best for us. But at least the parrot listens.

GV’s parrot is known as a Loro, which speaks to her in Spanish.  Mine to me in English.  They speak all languages because the parrot is that voice in our head.  If we imagine that voice as a parrot on our shoulder, the relationship has a better chance of being exploited, for the better.  A parrot, the imaginary one roosting atop our scapula, is more receptive to suggestions than our dreamt up internal egoic voice.

As an alter ego to our plumed champion, who was comfortably in place long before we were aware, we are better off looking for ways to continually massage our partnership so that our personal friend is more of a companion than an annoyance.

Although it may occasionally proffer sound advice, our colorful confidants have a tendency of protecting us by criticizing others with incessant parrot talk.  They’ll constantly forecast future events and occasionally cry about the past at the expense of what is happening at the moment. Therefore, a gentle order like ‘hey pipe down’ is apropos from time-to-time and is understandable bird-talk.  A soft instruction to the make-believe bird perched nearby is more openly received than an internal mandate directed toward our self-image.  When our birdie is smart, it’ll nudge us where we need to go without squawking recurring nonsense.  But training our beautiful feathered friend to utter only positive, make-sense notions is a constant challenge.

Even one monkey on our shoulder can send our parrot babbling in an unhelpful direction.

As humans with our fledgling companion prescribed to us at birth, we are sort of lucky to have the lifelong task of coaching our individual avifauna.  If we can get away with living most of our lives in a constructive alliance with our personal parrot, while avoiding sharing its resting place with monkeys of any kind, then we’ll have lived relatively successful lives.


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