Have you noticed that the world is in a bit of a muddle at the minute? From the craziness in the Monkey House to the madness at the top of politics, we are all looking for answers, guidance and a way forward. Instead of looking to the media, politicians or experts, the answer could be right there in the pages of the stories on the Monkeys bookshelf.
Firstly, I am struggling not to draw comparisons between what has just happened in the UK and the story of Chicken Licken (the revised version suitable for the under 5s). The story in a nut shell, if you haven’t had the pleasure, is as follows. An acorn falls on Chicken Licken’s head. Instead of looking around to see what it was, he decides that the sky is falling down and he decides to go and tell the King. Some might believe that the sky is falling in just now. It isn’t.
Chicken Licken goes on to collect up a group of his friends. Convincing them, without question, that disaster is imminent. Once again, it really isn’t. At the end of the story, Chicken Licken actually leads his friends to almost disaster when Foxy Loxy, taking advantage of Chicken Licken’s mistake, dresses as the King to fool the friends. Luckily, common sense prevails and they realise all is not right and save themselves from being eaten. Then chicken Licken is told the truth about the acorn, revealing him as a bit of a numpty.
Sometimes it is better to follow nonsense over sense.
One of my favourite stories from the monkey’s bookshelf, is that of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too. Quick synopsis. Tigger is being generally annoying. Bouncing all over, getting in the way and wrecking stuff. In fact very similar to the pack of rampaging monkeys in this house. Rabbit, the sensible one, is desperate for order and peace and decides something must be done. He has a meeting with pooh and piglet to hatch a plan.
The plan involves taking tigger to the woods, leaving him there to get lost, then coming home where peace will prevail. It is a bit of a mean plan and I get the impression that pooh and piglet only agree because one is asleep and the other is a bit frightened to stand up to the perceived authority of rabbit.
pause a moment and wait for your gut to show the way
The following day the friends set off into the woods. After executing the plan and successfully losing Tigger, Rabbit, Pooh and Piglet get lost. After a while Rabbit also loses Pooh and Piglet and finds himself all alone in the woods.
Pooh and Piglet in the meantime take a little rest and after a while, Pooh’s tummy starts rumbling. He says that his honey pots are calling to him and his tummy then leads them out of the woods and back home. On arrival home they discover Tigger who, despite being perceived as an imbecile, knew the way home all along. Tigger, oblivious to the whole plot, then goes back to rescue Rabbit from the woods.
Life is just better with a bounce in it.
Later in the story, Tigger and Roo bounce up a tree and get stuck. Before he is rescued he promises Rabbit that he will never bounce again. After returning to Earth with the assistance of Christopher Robin and his coat, held out by the little band of friends, Tigger starts to bounce. But rabbit holds him to his promise. Tigger immediately falls into a depression, and his friends have a glimpse at a world without Tigger’s bounce. Quickly it is established that no one wants this and Rabbit grants him pardon.
The moral of the story
What, you might ask, is this all about? I’ll explain. Often in life we can feel like the sky is falling in. That we cannot cope with the noise and rowdiness of it all some days. We don’t always take the time to properly consider the truth behind what we are told or have perceived. Often we follow along blindly because we are either afraid to challenge authority or just too weak to speak up.
What the stories we tell our monkeys tell us, is that sometimes we can benefit from thinking beyond what we perceive. Pause a moment and listen to our gut instincts, they might actually lead us out of the woods. Consider the possibility that the seemingly sensible route might not be the right route for you. That the one who is percieved as an imbecile might actually have the answers. Finally, and most importantly, life is definitely better with bounce in it.