Monkey business

November 11, 2016


Yes, it’s getting closer to the end of the year. And while I was going for a walk the other day I was thinking about this year and all the things I’ve got up to. This lead to me reflecting on different things I’d learnt along the way. It brought to mind a story that I had read a while ago, which I’ll share with you now.

There was once a monkey, who as part of an experiment was put in a cage. The cage had red, yellow and green squares. After several days, an experiment was set up so that the red squares gave off electric shocks causing the monkey to experience pain. The monkey became anxious but soon learned to avoid the red squares. Next, both the yellow and red squares were set up to give off electric shocks. The response in the monkey was to act depressed, anxious and panicky. But he soon learned to avoid all yellow and red squares. Then all the squares were electrified. This sent the monkey crazy. He bit himself, banged his head against the bars, ran around and finally curled up in a ball. The experiment took a month.

He was then transferred to a second cage with a white floor. Soft music was played, he was touched, held and fed. Within a short time, he calmed down and within two weeks he was playful and exploring his cage. He could not be seen as any different from a monkey in the wild population which had not being subjected to the experiment. Well, what do you expect from a dumb monkey? He’s not as smart as a human. He didn’t know how to hold on to the past forever, or continue to anticipate disaster. He only knew how to adapt to changing circumstances. When he was put back into the first cage he was anxious for two days, but, after realising and assuring himself there were no shocks, he began to be playful in that cage too.

Well, as I’ve pointed out, monkeys aren’t as smart as humans.


Something to think about...


"Everybody's got a past. The past does not equal the future, unless you live there."
- Tony Robbins

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