Read the first part of the story here.
After a few days the scientists add a couple of new monkeys to the groups who unknown of such thing keep on trying to get banana, only to get beaten by the stick. The other monkeys laugh at the new loons getting beaten up. They also learn the futility of such attempt.
It keeps on happening. New monkeys added to the room. They getting beaten up. Other monkeys laughing, until they also learn that the bananas are forbidden fruit.
This goes on and on for some time.
And then scientists see a surprising result. Now when they introduce a new monkey to that room and when it tries to get the monkey, the other monkeys, instead of waiting him to try, gather around the new ones and beat them up. They have imbibed this learning and they will allow nobody else to do it.
Our lives are strikingly similar to these monkeys and the room with the forbidden fruit. We see something we want, we set our eyes on it – just like the bananas. The only difference is that for most of the time, we are both – the monkey trying to get the banana, and also the monkey beating it for trying.
The structure of modern days lives is like this. Our heads are so wrapped around with the futility of trying that we cringe the moment we think of trying something new. We hug it like a panda hugging a tree. It’s sacrosanct, must be followed. And Day in and day out we run and run and run. Without taking a pause, without reflecting, without thinking. Following this schedule.
And this is the reality for almost all of us. And I’m one of them.
We cling to our schedules because it’s safe.
It’s comfortable. It gives us the comfort of a defined reward for a defined work. It doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t put us to an extreme test. It makes us comfortable first, then lethargic, and soon the lethargy feedbacks into making me more comfortable. It‘s a reinforcing loop. And soon our lives become that experiment of monkeys in a room with a ladder. We start believing into this life as the ultimate truth of existence – this is how the life works. This is how things should be.
And this acceptance is the obituary of our lives that we write ourselves. For us, before we physically die.
Suddenly the bell rang, and my thoughts broke. “It’s our house maid,” I thought as I walked to the main door and opened it. And immediately my mind took as it a cue, and I resumed my routine again. Resumed living the experiment.
Read the first part of the story here
Also published on Medium.