Are You The One Who Could Revolutionize the Entire World?

Social IssuesPhilosophy

  • Author Harry Warman
  • Published December 26, 2010
  • Word count 577

You alone could be the catalyst for entire global transformation. How is this possible, I hear you ask. Well here is a charming true story about social change, entitled "The 100th Monkey" that illustrates how a single individual in a fringe group could affect worldwide reform.


The Japanese monkey, Macaca Fuscata, an endangered species, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. Its dwindling colonies were at risk of starving to death on their sparsely vegetated island homes.

In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists commenced providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand by helicopter. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirty sand unpleasant. Many refuse to eat the offerings. Since a helicopter drop was the only feasible way to mass feed the colony, the technologists were at a loss as to what to do.


Observing a an 18-month-old female the researchers named Imo, they found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother, then to her father. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers and fathers too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys, before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. It seemed this colony had been saved.

Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults reluctantly kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes, some falling ill, a few even dying.


Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958 A certain number of Koshima monkeys were occupied, busily washing their sweet potatoes. The exact number of monkeys is not really known. For the purposes of the exercise, let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let us further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash her potatoes.


By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!


But notice: A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea...Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama also began washing their sweet potatoes.

Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.

But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!

For those of you who believe the world is headed for dire straits, take solace in this amazing phenomenon. There are many of us who sense that a new dawning of consciousness is about to arrive. Nay, a new dawn of consciousness is already at hand. All that is needed is a hundredth monkey to come forward and explode this new thought revolution into the rest of humanity.

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