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Todd Treharne
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Todd Treharne   My Press Releases

You, too, can save the day!

Published on 2/17/2019
For additional information  Click Here

You, too, can save the day!

Just the other day, I was speaking at a Toaste Masters event about being the hero of your own story and I finished with, "You, too, can save the day!" And immediately a guy shouts out "Like Hardy Boys!" 

What a joy it is to be understood!

Before Harry Potter and his mates bewitched my boyhood, I was enchanted by a different set of adventures: those of the teenage sleuths Frank and Joe Hardy, more famously known as the Hardy Boys. And why wouldn’t I be? Their namesake books, which were written by Franklin W. Dixon and debuted in 1927, feature suspenseful titles such as What Happened at Midnight, Footprints Under the Window, and The Haunted Fort, which are brought to life with vibrant cover art and dramatic frontispieces. Within the slight volumes themselves, the young detectives, who are often joined by their friends, solve mysteries in the fictional town of Bayport. As a young adolescent boy, I felt the books extended an invitation, a promise:

You, too, can save the day.


As I continued to read the series through middle school and into high school, I began to notice that the beloved franchise’s world—where black characters are a rarity and obviously gay characters are nonexistent—wasn’t much like the one I lived in. Not every book can represent every reader’s personal experience, of course. Though beyond the fun exploits, the enduring appeal of the Hardy Boys series, and the reason it has sold more than 70 million copies, stem from its broad relatability. That is, the books take seriously the fact that growing up often means having boundless curiosity, challenging authority, and wrestling with questions of good versus evil.

In addition to illuminating the key beats of a great story—well-defined characters, drama, a compelling narrative arc—they recognize kids’ intelligence, employing elevated language that stretches their vocabulary. (Chet, for instance, always drives a jalopy, a word that was lost on me as a preteen; other advanced words I learned include careening and impetuous.)

The Hardy Boys also offer a critical lesson on the importance of reappraisal—on how, with hindsight, it’s possible to see the cultural blind spots in art. In time, as I read more broadly and deeply, I learned to hold the books up to the light and separate out their derisions and elisions, their racist caricatures and sexist tropes (female characters, such as Laura Hardy, the boys’ mother, are often reduced to overly doting, self-effacing bit players). I still sometimes read the stories today, pulled in by the potency of childhood attachments and the illusion of justice—the knowledge that the Hardys will always bust the baddies—stitched into the stories. But now I approach the books a little bit more as historical documents, at once valuing and rolling my eyes at the parts that haven’t aged quite like I have.

In a sense, the importance of having some critical distance is one of the morals the books message us.

The series of books embraced a “good-natured mocking” and were about getting kids into the habit of questioning things such as authority and power. The Hardy Boys, in some ways, were smarter than some of the adults. The law enforcement, they were bumbling, they couldn’t solve a case, yet the Hardy Boys could. i have come to believe it was about nourishing kids with “a little shot of healthy skepticism.” While some people may not meaningfully figure into the Hardy Boys’ literary land, one can still appreciate one of their central tenets: that people should never stop scrutinizing the world around them, including as it’s reflected in their books. 
How will you use this in your life or business?
You, too, can save the day!
Share with me what your thoughts on this are. What are you willing to do, TODAY< to step up and stand in your greatness? 

To Your Abundance and Prosperity!

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~Todd Treharne ~

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