I’ve been thinking a lot about how expressing one’s authentic self and how often we can be stopped by others. Our own insecurity causes us to believe other people when they tell us that sticking to the script is the best way to survive.
Sticking To The Script?
Sticking to the script means making choices that are comfortable. Making choices that make other people in our lives comfortable. Never going off the beaten path. Following the herd. Never giving yourself permission to be really you. Doing what’s expected of you, never what you really want to. Never really questioning, because questions bring discomfort. Trying new things bring unease.
My question is who wrote the script?
Here’s a modern day fable I read recently, that illustrates what might happen if we stick to the script.
A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage, and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.
Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.
After a while, every time a monkey would start up the ladder, the others would pull it down and beat it up.
After a time, no monkey would dare try climbing the ladder, no matter how great the temptation.
The scientists then decided to replace one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was start to climb the ladder. Immediately, the others pulled him down and beat him up.
After several beatings, the new monkey learned never to go up the ladder, even though there was no evident reason not to, aside from the beatings.
The second monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and the same was repeated. The fourth monkey was changed, resulting in the same, before the fifth was finally replaced as well.
What was left was a group of five monkeys that – without ever having received a cold shower – continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.
If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they beat up on all those who attempted to climb the ladder, their most likely answer would be “I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here.”
The moral of this story? Sticking to the script is for monkeys!
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