monkey-ing around

Ok, so I kind of thought that maybe a two-sentence post might not really cut it as a proper post for my post-per-week thing, so I’m writing another post…

Fortunately, I came across this rather interesting post on the very appropriately named site

It’s a great site for wasting time, but you can also find funny and interesting things there. It’s also very useful for when you’re bored and/or have a few minutes spare that you need to get rid of.

I’m kind of hoping that that hyperlink will work forever, but in case it doesn’t, I’m going to quickly summarise the monkey experiment: Basically, you put five monkeys in a cage with a ladder and you hang a banana at the top of the ladder. When a monkey goes up the ladder and gets the banana, you spray the other four monkeys with cold water. Eventually the monkeys learn that it’s bad for another monkey to climb the ladder to get the banana, so if anyone attempts it, they attack them.

Next, you replace one of the monkeys with a new one. When the new monkey goes to climb the ladder to get the banana, the other monkeys attack it. The new monkey doesn’t know why, but it learns that this is just how things work in the cage. Replace another monkey, and the first new monkey joins in the attacking of the second one. Then you replace the original monkeys one by one until all five monkeys are new. These monkeys weren’t ever sprayed with cold water, but they attack any monkey who attempts to climb the ladder because that’s what they’ve learnt to do.

So, yeah, it’s pretty interesting in how it teaches people to not keep doing something just because “that’s how it’s always been done”. There was a line at the end making a comment about the Marine Corps, but I don’t really know what’s going on there, so I’m not going to comment on it. Besides, it’s a good general lesson, anyway.

I’m not really keen on (unnecessary/sudden) change, but I like knowing there’s a purpose/reason behind something. I think a friend or someone once wrote this quote-type thing along the lines of “I am good, but I can be better. I’ll work hard to become better. And if I become the best, I’ll keep working hard because I’ll know that I can still be better.” Something like that. Anyway, that’s kind of resonated with me, since I’ve graduated and passed my internship and seem to have reached the top of the mountain, so to speak.

But this isn’t the end of the road. I know that there are always improvements that can be made – for myself, my workplace, the people I work with, for my home and relationships. It just takes a bit of courage to help put some changes in motion.


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