Here’s a paraphrased story that my parents told me many times growing up. It’s a story about a man trying to sell a monkey.
There was a man at the marketplace trying to sell a monkey. Every time a person who was interested in the monkey, the man replied, “Yes, he’s a cute monkey. Oh boy but he’s troublesome.” Or he would say, “He’s quite disobedient. He won’t listen to me.” To the last person he said, “Oh, this monkey drives me nuts. Please, I beg you take him.”
Distressed at the situation, the man felt hopeless. That is until a man called to him with a “pst, pst, Sir.”
The distressed man turned to the call. He replied with a, “Yes?”
The kind stranger said, “Why don’t you try saying nice things about the monkey. See what happens.”
The man took in the suggestion of the stranger. It was only but a few minutes when the first customer arrived after the wise advice. And to the man’s surprise, he sold the monkey.
The moral of the story
I asked my parents what this story meant. And the story stuck to me. At many times, we speak badly of a friend, a family member, co-worker, a peer so and so forth. Sometimes this can happen out of anger because there was a misunderstanding or a big disagreement—whatever the case may be. But then, when we try to speak good things about this person, it’s already too late.
When someone talks badly about a person, then they try to tell you how good they are, it’s natural to feel suspicious. My family and friends, on numerous occasions, talk negatively about a person and how that person wronged them, then they try to tell me good things about them. It’s very difficult to like a person who wrongs one of your loved ones—Because like my parents always say, “he/she sold the monkey negatively already. Now he/she cannot sell it.”
The image has been tarnished. So it’s always a good idea to think twice before putting a person in a damaging light. Of course, we have the right to talk to our friends/family about how we feel and how somebody wronged us. However, don’t expect to sell anything if the monkey has been a bad monkey because most people won’t buy it.
Have I sold the monkey incorrectly? Shamefully, I must say yes, I have. I then realized it’s too late to make them look good, and it’s all my fault.
This, of course, leaving aside the situations when a person has been a complete fiend and you actually have the right to feel upset. In that case, maybe it’s time to reconsider the relationship.
A simple story to make one think deeply.
©Ana P. Rose & Anaprose 2017.