Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Deep Thoughts about a monkey!

So, I have this story stuck in my head for about a couple of months now, that I heard from Dave Ramsey. Lately, I can't stop thinking about it. Let me preface, this post is absolutely not pointing to anyone other than myself. So let me share:

There was an experiment that scientists did where they put a group of monkeys in a room. In the center of the room was a tall pole with a large bunch of bananas at the top.

The monkeys first instict would be to climb the pole and try to reach the bananas to eat. But every time a monkey climbed the pole, the scientists would shoot the monkey off of the pole with a fire hose.

One by one they were all shot down from the pole and never reached the coveted bananas.

The next phase of the experiment was to replace one new monkey at a time to replace one of the original monkeys in the experiment. They found that when the new monkey tried to climb the pole, the original monkeys would pull the new monkey down. No fire hose was used in this round.

Then when they replaced another new monkey with an original monkey, all the monkeys again would pull the new monkey off of the pole, including the first new monkey who had never experienced the fire hose himself.

It went on and on, replacing monkeys and the monkeys continued to tear each other down until the entire group was replaced with new monkeys that never experienced the fire hose, but continued the habit of tearing each other down.

Hhhmmmm.................I really like this story. I think there is a lot to learn from it. I find it very interesting that the new monkeys so easily accept the negative behavior of the original monkeys and easily join in the crowd. What they say must be true, misery loves company.

Second, why didn't some of the original monkeys catch on that the fire hose was not being used anymore? It was themselves that was preventing anyone including themself to get the banana. It seemed like the value of the banana dissapeared and the pay off was to tear someone down.

Yes, I know, they are monkeys and they have limited thought processes, I can all hear you now telling me. However, have there been moments in my life where I have acted like a monkey and can I not learn from this story? I am smarter than a monkey (well I hope so!)

For myself, I am evaluating, what my bananas are and to stay focused on never giving up on climbing the pole to reach them. Although one experience of trying to reach my bananas had a bad outcome of being shot down by a fire hose (or in my life, uncontrollable events), that doesn't mean that every time I try, there will a fire hose waiting to shoot me down. The other huge lesson is: Dont be the monkey that likes to ruin other monkeys opportunities to reach the bananas. You never know how sweet the taste of success will be for them, and is that not better to see someone else happy besides yourself?


Mackenzie said...

I just love this story. It is incredible how easily we can lose sight of the value of the banana. Good advice for the day.

Also, I will be getting more of those bracelets and you are welcome to one...or several if you know of others who would like to wear them.

Ann Marie said...

Yes, I loved the story too.

Dave is such a great storyteller using analogies. I love him! I wish everyone in the world would take heed to his plan!

I'm going to have Monkey's on the brain the rest of the day! :) He-he

Mo said...

Great story! I've been feeling like I need to spend some time and re-evaluate what my "bananas" really are. Thanks for getting me thinking!

Me said...

Great! Now I'm going to have monkey dreams and wake in the morning searching for a banana! Just kidding. Great story. I still need to get his book or whatever, but it is on eternal hold at the library. Thanks for sharing.

JENNIFRO said...

That was interesting. I like stories that cause you to think of deeper meanings and relate them to yourself or your life.

Miss Megan said...

I actually had a different reaction to the experiment...

I think too often in our lives we need to trust the "wisdom of our fathers". I know that as Peter grows he will put himself in harms way (aka the fire hose), and even though I won't always be there to stop him, I can do my best to keep him safe or warn him away from danger. There are many times in my life I WISHED I had listened to my parents advice more often and stayed on the ground. I truly saw them as helping one another instead of hindering.

Anyways, just some food for thought. Maybe I'm over-thinking it?

Suzanne said...


Good point! I guess it all comes down to the definition of what the bananas are. To me, I looked at it as the bananas as dreams, goals, desires, religion, and beliefs. You definately have a given me a new perspective on the bananas being something bad. Althoug, I wonder if we through the principle of agency into the equation, when it comes down to it, they have the choice. We can verbally give recommendations, but to physically stop someone, is that not denying their agency? And no, you are not overthinking, and I like having discussions like this. No worries and You are great! - Suzanne


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