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You Are Not a Monkey

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

While chimps and monkeys share 99 percent of the same DNA as us, that 1 percent difference is huge!

Aside from the stark visual differences, the brain is where the 1 percent difference clearly makes us the superior species. We have a well-developed prefrontal cortex and, as such, understand logic and reason.

There is an old story about how to catch a monkey to highlight this.

To catch a monkey all one has to do is fill a bucket full of rocks, cover it, and fill it full of apples. Then you cut a hole just small enough for the monkey to wedge its hand in and leave it in sight of the monkey.

After awhile the monkey will investigate the bucket, realize it has apples in it, and wedge its hand into the hole to grab one.

However, with an apple in hand, the monkey cannot pull its dirty paws back out.

Unwilling to sacrifice its newly found bounty of tasty food, the monkey will find itself stuck until someone comes along to grab it. The monkey will not sacrifice what it has now for the future benefit of its freedom.

We are not monkeys. We have logic and reason. However, often we too seem incapable or unwilling to sacrifice in the short term for the long term.

Here is the thing: We can if we pay attention. All we need to do is think ahead and make the decision based on weighing the future benefit to the current results.

Think like a human, not a monkey, and don't get caught with your hand in the jar! Weigh the benefits and make the short-term sacrifices that lead to longer-term benefits.

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