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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coco's Big Trip

This past weekend I visited Mizzou and had a lot of my questions answered, but I'm still digesting, chewing on the whole experience and what it means.  It was 36 non-stop hours so I'm still recovering.  In the meantime, here's my stab at one of old Asop's fables. 

Once there was a little monkey who set out to climb a tall mountain.  Unsure of the best way to ascend the rocky behemoth, the monkey began scrambling  up the mountain’s base haphazardly.  Kicking up stones and dirt, sometimes tripping over his feet, the monkey still found the climb relatively easy and saw his arrival at the mountain’s summit—whatever that might look like—as imminent.

But then suddenly after much progress, the monkey slipped and was in free-fall.  Fortunately, he was saved when he landed on a ledge of the mountainside.  The monkey was relieved and happy to have found the safety of his peaceful ledge when he could have easily plummeted to his doom.

This guy's got it all figured out.
“I’ll just sit here for a moment until I catch my breath,” said the monkey, “then I’ll get back to my climb.”

But the longer the monkey sat on the ledge catching his breath, the more he found to like about the ledge.  There was food, water, even other monkeys who lived there.  Though he failed to realize it upon his initial fall, this ledge was a very comfortable place and the monkey found himself  happy to wait there as he regained his breath. 

Sooner than he thought the monkey began to feel his nerves and breath returning, but the thought of leaving the ledge and resuming his climb was both frightening and somewhat unappealing to him.  The monkey was content, even happy, where he was and there was no guarantee that he wouldn’t fall down again upon his climb, maybe missing the ledge all together this time.  There was no guarantee that the mountain’s summit was even better than or as good as the ledge. 

But with each passing day the monkey also wondered more and more what might lie at the mountain’s summit.  He had an idea of what it might be when he first started climbing, but part of the adventure that he had sought out so long ago was discovering just what was there in actuality.

Was it better than what was on the ledge?  Shouldn’t he be happy that he was just lucky enough to find the ledge in the first place?  Wasn’t he happy on the ledge?  How long could he be happy on the ledge?  Could he stand not knowing what was at the summit, even if it was bad?  Should he take the money or what was behind Door #3?  These thoughts haunted the monkey until he was paralyzed with indecision.  What was the greater mistake; to leave the ledge or to remain on it? 

So no real end to this parable, for obvious reasons, but sit tight and I'll post about my recent visit to Mizzou.  Spoiler alert, I saw no monkeys in central Missouri.  Damn. 

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