You start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, all of the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a monkey that has not seen the spraying. He sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why, they have just been taught it is the thing to do.
But after replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. In fact none even know the cold water was ever used nor that it is a potential threat.
As Aesop established hundreds of years ago with his timeless fables we remember words best when we become engaged in a story. Max has compiled an anecdotal story collection designed to generate “ah- ha” moments. Click here to see more.