This blog set the question: Are You the Hundredth Monkey?

Comments to the initial post "What's Up With That?" give wonderful examples of what that might look like.

The New Year has begun. The Hundredth Monkey has abundant opportunity to be be make a difference - any difference that makes the world brighter, holier, more sane.

What does that look like for you?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas With Grandma

Could The Hundredth Monkey be Santa himself??

A Story Submitted 12/20/2009 by Larry J Burke


 I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma.. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered.  "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.  "No Santa Claus?" she snorted..."Ridiculous!  Don't you believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!!  Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go?  Go where Grandma", I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.  As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.  That was a bundle in those days.  "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car."  

Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.  I was only eight years old.  I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.  The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.  I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.  I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker.  He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.  Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter.  His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough,but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement.  I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!  I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."  The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.  Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.  Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.  Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to  open.  Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes.  That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous.  Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.  I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

  May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare, and FRIENDS that  care...

  And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

  Give back - what you can, where you can, whenever you can.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Hundredth Monkey in Wal-Mart

Perhaps you too have a story to share...a story that can help others see for themselves what it is to make that one simple shift ...

The Wal-Mart Occurrence

A True Story Nov 20, 2009 by Nancy L Wolf

As always I am in a race against time.. Squeezing in my “ things to do” in the time frame of when the aides are here and when do I have to be back home and all that stuff. I knew Wal-Mart would be busy but had to get a few things including a Rx, so I raced over and did my thing.

I always go in the garden entrance as its less chaotic parking and less crowded.

So with 15 minutes to spare I get in a short line (only 3 of us) and figure things will be okay. Then I see the lady next in line and her cart is overflowing to the brim with a mountain of items and thinking oh boy this is going to take forever. The line behind me starts to fill up and everyone is complaining and moaning over how they have to wait and how you are not supposed to have that much stuff in that garden section etc etc.

I was starting to get annoyed, but something inside me (my yoga teaching mostly) said to myself” who knows what is going on with her? Why does she have so much? Maybe she has no other time to come, or lots of things, so I slowed my mind down and just observed. As she hurriedly put her mountain of articles on the small space I saw she had a companion who was coming and getting the bags as they were full and taking them out to the car. I observed they both looked very somber and nervous. I finally could see half way down her basket and saw all the Xmas stuff and she had also purchased a pre lit tree that she needed help getting to the car.

By now the people behind me were in a fit.. Saying things out loud and leaving.. Cursing life and turning red. I thought ” I am not going to freak out. Something here is just not right …" but then I had to be home for my husband on hospice so I was a little worried about the time.

Suddenly she turned around when she heard someone’s comment and looked so upset. She then came over to me and the lady behind me..I had been talking to the lady behind me and saying I needed to get out on time as my husband was on hospice and she said "go in front of me don’t worry…" so there we were chatting and this stranger comes over to us… leaving her pile of items… and puts her hands to her face and says ”I’m so sorry.. I have to get all of this to the house right away.. My husband is on hospice and he is dying" (my legs got weak and my mouth dry) I couldn’t say the words as tears were streaming down my cheeks. The lady next to me looked at her and said ”so is her husband” we both just looked at each other and time stood still. All I could picture was her racing home to try and set everything up for him so he could ”see Xmas “ before he passes. She looked at me and then she took my hands. No words exchanged… just tears.

Suddenly the line got very was like no one else was there… just me and this stranger both sharing this deep sadness at this time of year and understanding each other. She had to be around 75? But there was no age in that moment. She finally went back to her stuff and paid. And then she turned back to look at me one last time. I opened up my arms to her as a signal... and she came over. We stood and hugged each other for what seemed a long time… both of us crying… and then she left and I was up next.

Fighting back the tears… all I could think was of all the uptight people who had been so impatient and I was beginning to be like that… but I am so grateful I stopped myself and calmed and centered myself and observed.

You just never know why people do what they do… take time to observe and time to be grateful for those busy lives you have.. I will never forget that event… Be ever so grateful, not just at Xmas but always. For your lives and if you have the luxury of being able to not live you life in segments of time, and if your family and yourself is healthy… then next time you have to wait… remember this true story that happened to me this November of 2009.
Peace, Nan

"Lately it occurs to me... what a long strange trip it's been!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's up with that?

The hundredth-monkey effect is "a supposed phenomenon in which a learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached. By generalization it means the instantaneous, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned the new ability."

The story of the “Hundredth Monkey Effect” was published in the foreword to Lawrence Blair's Rhythms of Vision in 1975.[1] The claim spread with the appearance of Lifetide, a 1979 book by Lyall Watson. In it, Watson repeats Blair's claim. The authors describe similar scenarios. They state that unidentified scientists were conducting a study of macaques monkeys on the Japanese island of Koshima in 1952.[2] These scientists purportedly observed that some of these monkeys learned to wash sweet potatoes, and gradually this new behavior spread through the younger generation of monkeys—in the usual fashion, through observation and repetition. Watson then claimed that the researchers observed that once a critical number of monkeys was reached—the so-called hundredth monkey—this previously learned behavior instantly spread across the water to monkeys on nearby islands.

This story was further popularized by Ken Keyes, Jr. with the publication of his book The Hundredth Monkey. Keyes presented the “Hundredth Monkey Effect” story as an inspirational parable, applying it to human society and the effecting of positive change therein. Since then, the story has become widely accepted as fact and even appears in books written by some educators.

The book by Keyes was a treatise on the effects of nuclear war on the planet and the devastation caused thereon.

Of course, the research goes on and on disputing everything from the monkeys to the study to the sweet potatoes themselves...but maybe - just maybe - there really is something here.

Maybe that something is YOU.