Thursday, 12 June 2008

Wet Monkey Theory

I received the following from my friend who works in the insurance industry. They get the most interesting emails, and I am going to share this one. Author unknown.

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while another monkey makes the attempt with same result, all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.

After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. the newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that is the way it has always been done around here.

Does this sound familiar?


Mary Witzl said...

Yes. This is what every expatriate goes through when they first live abroad. You don't know WHY things aren't done the way that seems perfectly logical to you, but everyone else does. And after a while, you know to keep away from the bananas.

Barbara Martin said...

Mary: Yes, and this also applies to business environments, too. Usually where someone in management is a bully, and when a new person is hired who questions the intimidating behaviour is advised to let it go. Even if there are legal avenues to combat it. Very sad.

Sienna said...

I'm not one to follow the rest just because.

It does sadden me that people might not voice their opinion or take action for issues they believe in-it doesn't have to, or need to be as it was done yesterday and the day before..

I especially dislike bullying.

I am trying to thing of the saying that refers to folk who standby and allow the wrongs to be done...I have always instilled empathy and compassion into our children and if they see bullying occuring to report it and make it known it is unacceptable..

It kinda hits a raw nerve in me, I was never bullied but knew of some boys (intellectually/socio economic disadvantaged) school that were picked on by other boys...from a young age even then it seemed so wrong, I would stick up for them. The other boys soon left them alone when they had to deal with a feisty little tomboy..

I cannot emphasise the importance of empathy,kindness,compassion and tolerance being nutured and developed in children..

Workplaces too, should be bully free zones, we owe it walk the talk, I'm just very passionate on people's rights.


Barbara Martin said...

Pam, welcome, and I'm glad to see you are making a difference in peoples' lives.

Sienna said...

I forgot "respect"..but I think you probably got my gist. :)

The flat country I never labelled is around the Little Desert area (east of the Park) of Victoria, Australia.

Loamy, mallee country, beautiful farming land if worked and cared for with it's best interests at heart.

A climate similar to the desert, extreme temperatures and relatively low annual rainfall. 200 to 300mm p/year.

It's called the Mallee. Fairly isolated from bigger towns and cities, but it's nothing to us to drive 3 or 4 hours for medical care or business that can't be done over internet.

On the big map picture of Australia, we would be the south eastern area. 4 hours travel from the sea. The landscape can alter dramatically within an hours drive of us in almost any direction.

Australia is such a contrast of everything.


Barbara Martin said...

Pam, thank you for your vivid descriptions of your photos and Australia.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Great illustration of human behavior. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I appreciate the insightful comment.

Barbara Martin said...

Chris, welcome. Human behaviour is the motivator behind all writers' muse for their stories. Come again.