It’s one of those key parenting questions that mom’s and dad’s all over ponder daily, “Just what is the difference between our child and a monkey?”
I know what you are thinking, “What?”
But the truth is, it really is key in understanding why parenting is so tough.
Monkeys don’t need parenting classes or need to think-out-of-the box. That’s because every monkey baby needs the same thing as every other monkey baby. This works great for monkeys, because monkey mommy’s don’t have to re-invent the wheel. In fact, they don’t have to think at all — for them it’s just doing what comes naturally.
Most human parents get into trouble precisely because they are doing what they think is natural.
What works for monkeys is not going to work on your kids, no matter how much they ape around. The reason is all a monkey wants out of life is peace and quiet. And when they get there, they know it and do everything they can to stay there. I’m not saying monkeys have it easy (not that I would really know), it’s just that when they overcome the various life obstacles and achieve a state of ease, they are happy and they know it, and they don’t need to clap their hands.
Not human beings. Let me explain.
Take your average monkey and give him a truck load of bananas. That monkey is going to stay with those bananas till they are all gone. It’s not going to look for better bananas. It’s not going to miss the challenge of finding hard to reach bananas. No, it’s happy and it’s fine.
This picture is of Kate Rutherford. No, the picture is not on its side, and no, she is not climbing to escape marauding Cossacks who just invaded her little village and this was her only escape. No, she is climbing a vertical stone wall because a life of three meals a day and of no obvious threats, is not happy enough!
I quote: “The water polishes the rock like glass. Wearing tape on her hands, she has to repeatedly jam them into fissures for the ascent.”
What was wrong with her life that forced her up a vertical rock?
That was her problem.
Let me tell you a personal story of mine. A very wealthy patron to our cause was forced into retirement because of a stroke, and even though his mental faculties were fine his communication was too stilted to keep him in business. One day he said to me, “Steve, I have a problem.”
This man was living on an immaculately beautiful landscaped piece of land that he owned and stretched as far as the eye could see. He had a dozen servants at his beck-and-call. He lacked for nothing.
I looked at him incredulously and said, “What’s the problem?”