Monkey See. Monkey Do. The Great Monkey Experiment

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Photo Credit: Marie Hale via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Marie Hale via CC Flickr

The following short story is supposedly a true tale of an experiment that was done in the UK a few years ago. I read of the account on rishikajain.com. It serves as a great illustration and reminder as to why we should not judge other people or get involved in a cause without knowing the true account behind it….why it started…how it began….etc. We all need to be very careful and think twice before following a tradition, religion or a system blindly. 

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The experiment went something like this:

The clinicians put eight monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room was a ladder which lead to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling.

Each time a monkey tried to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys were sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable. Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up.

Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempted to climb the ladder.

One of the original monkeys was then removed, and a new monkey was put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wondered why none of the other monkeys were doing the obvious and going for the delicious fruit. Undaunted, he immediately began to climb the ladder.

Suddenly, all the other monkeys fell upon him and beat him silly. He had no idea why.

However, he no longer attempted to climb the ladder.

A second original monkey was removed and replaced. The newcomer again attempted to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys again, pounded the crap out of him.

This beating included the previous new monkey, who was grateful that he wasn’t not on the receiving end this time. He participated in the beating because all the other monkeys were doing it. However, he had no idea why he was attacking the new monkey.

One by one, all the original monkeys were replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them were ever sprayed by ice water. None of them attempted to climb the ladder. All of them enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tried to get to the bananas, without having any idea why.

That is how traditions, religions and systems get established and followed. That is why, like I previously stated, that we should all be cautious when we become interested in joining a tradition, religion or cause. We don’t want to fall into the trap of doing things “just because” everyone else does it or, “it was always done this way.” While the old motto, “Monkey see…monkey do” can be somewhat true, we need to be careful of what kind of  ”monkeys” we become.

A Father’s Last Will

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Photo Credit: Ken Mayer via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Ken Mayer via CC Flickr

Doug Smithberger is on his deathbed at Allegheny General Hospital and knows the end is near.  

His nurse, his wife, his daughter and 2 sons are with him.

He asks for 2 witnesses to be present and a camcorder be in place to record his last wishes, and when all is ready he begins to speak:

My son, “Bernie, I want you to take all the West End houses.””

My daughter “Sybil, you take the apartments over in the Bottoms and up toward Neville Island.”

My son, “Jamie, I want you to take the offices and apartments over in Neville Island and Coraopilis.”

“Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the banks of the river between McKees Rocks and Coraopolis and up the valley toward the airport.”

The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realize his extensive holdings, and as Doug slips away, the nurse says,

“Mrs. Smith, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property”.

Sarah replies, “Property ? …. the moron had a paper route!”

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I hope this brought a smile to your face!! Have a fantastic, uplifting day!

Bible Verses for The Difficulties of Life

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Photo Credit: Les Chatfield via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Les Chatfield via CC Flickr

I recently read a short article written by Catherine Marshall of Guideposts Magazine in which she listed 10 Bible verses that we can all use when we really need God’s comfort, peace and assurance. There are many, many other promises and assurances that we can find in Scripture but here is the list that Ms. Marshall created. It is my hope and prayer that some of these passages from the Bible will comfort and help you in some way.

  1. When I need guidance:
    “Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight” (Proverbs 3:6,The Daily Life Bible).
  2. When the answer to prayer seems slow in coming:
    “Steady patience is what you need, so that after doing the will of God you may receive what you were promised” (Hebrews 10:36).
  3. When I have sinned and need forgiveness:
    “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
  4. When I’m lonely and long to feel Christ’s presence:
    “Look! I’m standing at the door and knocking. If any hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to be with them, and will have dinner with them, and they will have dinner with me” (Revelation 3:20).
  5. When I do not feel good enough to be acceptable to God:
    “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
  6. When I am tempted:
    “…God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it” (I Corinthians 10:13).
  7. When I need physical strength and good health:
    “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you… he will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
  8. When I wonder if God understands what I’m up against:
    “But Jesus the Son of God is our great High Priest who has gone to heaven itself to help us; therefore let us never stop trusting Him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses since he had the same temptations we do, though he never once gave way to them and sinned” (Hebrews 4:14, 15).
  9. When troubles multiply:
    “… we triumph even in our troubles, knowing that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope—a hope which never disappoints us, since God’s love floods our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:3, 5).
  10. How I know there is life after death:
    “… I am the one who raises the dead and gives them life again. Anyone who believes in me, even though he dies like anyone else, shall live again. He is given eternal life for believing in me and shall never perish” (John 11:25, 26).

The Love Monster

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Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar via CC Flickr

There are many times throughout of lives that we can lose focus on the most important things in our lives and direct our attention on things that may seem more important. It was once said that the most important things in life aren’t seen…the following story is a heartwarming illustration of this idea.

A few summers’s ago, a man decided to take his wife and his precious little 5 year old daughter, along with him on a business trip to an exotic land. He had been searching for a job for many months and plans were made to meet an executive of a very well-known company for a job interview. The future looked promising, for the possibility of receiving an offer from the company would give the man and his family financial security for a long time.

The little family arrived at their destination and to their surprise, the hotel in which they were going to stay was on a very beautiful beach…even more delightful and exquisite than they ever imagined.

They quickly changed into their bathing suits, gathered their beach chairs, towels, blankets and umbrella and made their way to the turquoise sea as fast as they could. For the rest of the day, they all laughed and enjoyed themselves splashing in the water, swimming, body surfing and making sandcastles…what a glorious day it was!!!

The next morning, while his family was still sleeping, the man went down to the outdoor café to meet the business executive for the big meeting. Excited and anxious, the father met the company rep and they soon began their discussion….

A short time later, in the hotel, after eating their breakfast, the mother and little girl got ready for another visit to the white sandy beach.

After playing in the water and sand for a while, the little girl told her mom that she needed to use the bathroom.  She told her mom that she knew where it was and that she would come right back.

On the way to the restroom, the little girl noticed a big chain-linked fence that had a big sign on it with a picture. It was a picture of a black skull and cross bones with a red circle with a line through it covering the images. On the other side of the fence was a beautiful green pond. She had never seen water so green and it was covered with green stuff which looked like clovers.

“Aren’t four leave clovers lucky?” she thought to herself. “I am going to climb that fence, swim around in that stuff and cover myself from head to toe with that green goop.”

Once over the fence and immersing herself in the slimy liquid, she covered herself from head to toe with the green stuff. She grabbed handfuls of the matter and stuffed it into her bathing suit. “Wow! This is fun!” she thought. “I am now the luckiest girl in the whole world!”

Then suddenly, with a smile growing on her little face…she had an awesome plan!

Meanwhile, at the beach, the little girl’s mother noticed that her daughter had been gone for much too long, got worried, left the beach and started frantically looking for her. Her fear mounted and grew each minute as everywhere she looked, her daughter just couldn’t be found. No one had seen her anywhere.

Suddenly, she heard a scream as she saw her little girl land on the ground in front of the fence of the contaminated pond. The girl got up screaming and made an unusual, creepy sound that touched the deepest part of the mother’s heart. As the mother yelled the girl’s name, the little child seemingly ignored her mom’s calls and started running as fast as she could to the hotel’s eating area.

At the café, things were really starting to look very promising for the father. The discussions with the business executive had gone very well and with excitement and expectations growing, his anticipation of finally landing the big job was beyond belief.

All of a sudden, from behind him, he heard his wife calling his little girl’s name in a frightened voice and his daughter’s terrifying screams and growls approaching him. The look on the executive’s face was that of horror and unbelief as he watched the rapidly approaching creature come up to the father from behind.

 

Stunned and turning around in his chair the green creature instantly attacked the father, gave him a bone-crushing hug, instantly splattering the green slime all over the executive’s Taylor-made suit. The little gremlin started covering him with kisses, and said over and over again, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” “I AM THE LOVE MONSTER!”

The infuriated business executive snarled at the little girl “Alright! That’s enough! Your time is over!” Then he barked at the dad, “tell your daughter that her time is over and to leave us alone!!!”

With all of the love and compassion that a father could ever have in his heart, he smiled down at his dear little Love Monster, scooped her up in his arms, then said to the executive…I am sorry sir, but YOUR TIME IS OVER.

And with that, while carrying his beautiful little daughter, took his wife’s hand, and walked away…the happiest man in the world.

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What are your priorities? What are the important things to you? What are the “things” that make you REALLY happy? The choice is yours!

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Author: Rich Muller

Pictures That Speak Volumes #47

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Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

There is always something beautiful when people work together to help give an unfortunate individual an experience of a lifetime!

The Richest Man in the Valley

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Boyer via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Jennifer Boyer via CC Flickr

There are many times throughout our lives where ae all need a little perspective. We sometimes think more of ourselves than we ought to think and a story…like the one today…reminds us what the things in life are…that REALLY make us rich!

A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by.

Hans said, ‘I was just thanking God for my food.’

Carl protested, ‘If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks.’

Hans replied, ‘God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.’

The old farmer added, ‘It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.’

Carl snorted, ‘Dreams are nonsense,’ and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans’ words: ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, ‘Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.’

Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream. At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door.

‘What is it?’ Carl demanded.

The messenger explained, ‘It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.’

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Source: agiftofinspiration.com

The Day A Doctor Changed The World Forever

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Photo Credit: Riley's Children Foundation

Photo Credit: Riley’s Children Foundation

I love reading the “story behind the story” of why things happened and turned out the way they are today. For example…where did the name “Sloppy Joe” come from? Where did Walt Disney begin his Disney World empire?…etc. Well, I recently read the following story on a site “Gabe’s Fascinating Stories” that fell into this category. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In the early 1950’s an Austrian educational specialist published a study in America called “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”  His study argued that the Dick and Jane primers used at that time throughout American schools to teach children to read weren’t working.

He believed they were horrible educational tools; according to him they were stupid, pointless, tasteless little readers.  He doubted whether any middle-class, middle-income, middle-IQ student could learn anything by reading  “Look, look” or “Yes, yes” or “Come see Spot” or “See the funny, funny animal.”

He believed the stories in these primers were boring and the books ineffective at best in helping American children learn how to read.

William Spaulding, a publisher from Houghton Mifflin’s Publishing Company who worked in the educational division and read this Austrian study, thought it might be right. He met a man a few years earlier who he’d published a few not-very-well-known but very imaginative children’s books that his children really loved to read over and over.

Mr. Spaulding thought this unknown writer of children’s books might be able to write a book that would really be good for teaching American children how to read, want to read, and read over and over again. So he invited the author over for dinner one night and explained the dilemma to him.  Then Mr. Spaulding asked, “Can you write a book with a simple story that first-graders won’t be able to put down and will just want to read over and over again?”

Stunned by the question and not sure how to respond, the writer asked if he could have some time to think about it and work on it.  He left that dinner and spent the next nine months composing a book he thought would meet the goals of Mr. Spaulding.

A meticulous editor and reviser, he believed that a children’s book must be kept simple.  Every chapter had to be boiled down to just one simple paragraph so a child would be able to understand it.  He worked especially hard on the word count as he wanted to use as few words as possible.

The small children’s reader this writer finally produced at Mr. Spaulding’s request is now considered to be the most popular children’s book ever written in American history. Within less then a year of its initial publication, it was selling 12,000 copies a month and within five years from its release it had sold over a million copies.  This was an incredible feat for a children’s book.

His book contained a grand total of 1,702 words but the kick is he only used 220 different words in the entire book. His simple yet effective book revolutionized the way children in America learn to read.  The book he wrote and presented to Mr. Spaulding nine months later wasThe Cat in the Hat.

Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel) is without a doubt the best-selling children’s book author of all time.  He has since written 63 other children’s books in all, including Horton Hears a Who! (1954), One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960), Green Eggs and Ham(1960), Hop on Pop (1963), Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (1975), The Butter Battle Book (1984), and of course, The Cat in the Hat (1957).

Pictures That Speak Volumes #46

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This might be one of the most beautiful pictures that I have ever posted!

Photo Credit: Unknown

Photo Credit: Unknown

UPDATE!

Kerbey, a follower of my blog, found some further information regarding this picture. If you would like to learn more details about this person, cemetery, etc., please click on this link: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7140314

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