I read about a story today which claimed to be an elaboration of an actual experiment. After a few moments on google I realised that no such experiment was ever conducted. However, the story itself made a compelling case. It goes like this – 5 monkeys were put it a room with a bunch of bananas hanging up in the middle of the room and whenever one monkey tried to get the bananas the balance of them were sprayed with ice water. Until a point when the monkeys themselves attacked the one monkey who would try to go for the bananas. Now to add a twist to this already precarious situation, the ‘so called researchers’ replaced one of the monkeys with a new monkey who had never been sprayed with the ice water. As a normal reaction this new monkey decided he wants the bananas but got attacked by the others for doing so and this dissuaded him to go for the bananas another time. as he waited and was trying to understand the strange dynamics at work in this group a second monkey was replaced and the same thing happened all over again only this time the previously added monkey also joined in to beat the crap out of the now ‘new’ monkey without knowing as to why on earth he was imitating the others. I guess he was just happy not to be the one being attacked !!
Finally every monkey from the original set was replaced with new monkeys and now all of them were behaving like the previously ‘ice water’ sprayed set without having the slightest clue as to what was the cause of this behaviour. However, by this moment it all seemed natural to them.
Now as I said before this apparently wasn’t an actual experiment but it makes you think right ? Do you not feel like these monkeys?
We follow practices, traditions, some good some bad. We seldom know why we are doing what we are doing. We tend to confuse religion with spirituality, silence with loneliness and tradition with ritualistic stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, I myself am deeply rooted in tradition and culture and I dont mean to pick on anyones beliefs. But belief for the sake of it? Is that useful? Are we teaching our children what we ourselves don’t understand in its true essence? OR are we just following what our parents did, who did so because of their parents, so on and so forth without really caring as to why?
My grandmother would always tell me do not cut your nails after dark! She never told me exactly why she stopped us from doing so. This was one of the many random superstitions she believed in. Some make sense even to this day but we have outgrown most of them due to the changes in our life styles.
The way we are conditioned in our society we dont question our elders because that would be disrespectful. I however had a tendency to question ever since I was a child. More often than not it was misunderstood as rebellion or insubordination. So well being true to my nature I asked her many questions to which she always responded – “It brings ill luck!”
Years later (god bless google)I read somewhere that back in the day there was no electricity or nail clippers so in order to avoid cutting yourself it was said clip your nails during the day. Well that seems logical enough doesn’t it ? Well god bless her, she’s a lovely lady but she was clueless about this absolutely logical reason which has no place in todays world. But she believes it till date and she wanted me to follow it too !
What am i trying to get at you may ask? Well its pretty simple. Lets follow what makes sense, lets give up what doesn’t. What works for me wont work for you and what you believe I may not. Doesn’t make anyone of us less wise or worthy. Be true to yourself and have the courage to live in that truth. Most importantly
Live and Let Live..
So Be It !