The following story illustrates just how difficult letting go can be. Certain parts of the world, especially India and parts of Asia, have a real problem with troops of marauding monkeys. These critters steal food, destroy crops, and are even responsible for having transmitted the HIV virus to the human population. When monkeys move from being a mere nuisance to being a full-blown threat, they have to be captured and moved.
The most common method of catching monkeys has been to shoot them with tranquilizer guns, place them in crates, and move them to the wild. But monkeys are very fragile creatures, and many of them die as a result of being captured this way. In recent years animal rights activists have forced monkey catchers to revert to a method of capture that’s hundreds of years old. Here’s how it works.
Enlightened monkey catchers use only a bag of gourds, some string, a sharp knife, and peanuts or candy to handily capture their unsuspecting victims. Upon spotting a group of monkeys in a tree, the monkey catcher begins by tossing a few small stones or pieces of bark into the tree to scatter and isolate them. Then, moving to the base of a tree where a monkey is perched, he takes out one of the gourds, cuts it in half, hollows it out, puts the two pieces back together, and wraps it round and round with string. Using his knife, he cuts a small hole in the gourd, and then, in full view of the monkey, he begins stuffing the gourd with candy or nuts. Very curious by nature, the monkey watches intently as the monkey catcher continues filling the gourd with treats. When the gourd is about half-full, the monkey catcher sets it down on the ground and backs off.
Sensing an opportunity, the monkey quickly scrambles down from the tree, grabs the gourd, tries to peer inside, smells something it wants, and begins working its tiny hand through the tinier hole in hot pursuit of what’s inside. Wrestling its hand deep into the gourd, the monkey grabs a handful of treats. However, when it tries to remove its prize-filled fist from the gourd, it can't get it out. The harder it tries, the less success it has, and eventually the monkey catcher approaches the preoccupied monkey, delivers a quick shot of a short-term tranquilizer, and places the monkey in a crate for its journey to a new home.
The moral of the story is best posed as a question: What was the only thing the monkey had to do to get free? The answer, of course, is “Let go.” But it’s simply not in a monkey’s DNA to let go when its little fist is stuffed with candy or nuts. “Hey, I’m no chimp,” you might say. No, of course you’re not. We humans only share 98.5 percent of our DNA with monkeys. I’m guessing that the gene for not letting go is part of the DNA we have in common.
Contributed By: Jason Jennings...Keynote Leadership Speaker/NY Times Bestselling Author