Listen Up, Humans: It’s Time To Take Some Monkey Advice

A monkey ponders about life in his enclosure. Monkeys are social creatures who enjoy socializing with their fellow group members. Photo taken by Justin Hwang on April 7, 2021.

A monkey ponders about life in his enclosure. Monkeys are social creatures who enjoy socializing with their fellow group members. Photo taken by Justin Hwang on April 7, 2021.

Monkeys are one of the most beloved and popular creatures of the wild due to their funny looks and one-of-a-kind noises and actions. At zoos, people crowd around the monkey enclosure, hoping to get a glimpse into the silly little life of this curious animal. Although monkeys may seem to be creatures who live unimportant lives, that doesn’t mean that humans can’t learn a thing or two from these amusing and special creatures.

Monkeys are known for having close relationships with each other. They generally share a strong connection with their families, with female monkeys often staying with their mothers their entire lives. Humans, on the other hand, have a more difficult time bonding with others and forming long term relationships on a lifelong scale. When it comes to humans, they often face relationship troubles due to a lack of understanding and communication. Humans tend to get offended by mere barriers in relationships that could be overcome by working out problems together. These issues often plague friendships, romantic relationships, work environments and more, a problem that shrouds society today. However, an article written by the New York Times noted that monkeys often cooperate with each other to solve a problem, coordinating their actions as a group without the need to speak a single word.

When interviewing students at Lambert, everyone was able to come to one mutual agreement – monkeys do not question and defy problems as much as humans do. This is likely due to their simple nature which fosters this phenomenon.

“Monkeys do not have any other ulterior motives, so they are more pure,” Lambert sophomore Samanyu Badam explained.

Monkeys live a simple life with a straightforward understanding of relationships, a viewpoint that humans innately lack.

Although monkeys do not have the same social abilities as humans, such as verbalizing emotions through words, monkeys can express themselves through their actions. Oftentimes, actions speak louder than words . Through their actions, monkeys have displayed a better understanding of their peers than humans possess, as shown in one experiment done on a group of monkeys.

“The monkeys patiently waited for one another to understand the game…‘They don’t react with aggression,’” Dr. Ronald Noë, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Strasbourg in France explained in the same New York Times article.

Every monkey patiently waited for their peer, who was a low ranked female, to open a container of food. Disregarding rank and status, they coordinated themselves with the female monkey’s actions, and after 30 runs, they all had a full understanding of the process.

When taking a look in a school setting, one can see that there is often a lack of understanding, empathy and consideration for fellow peers. Many students often look down on their peers as they do not have the same level of academic understanding on a topic. Monkeys can teach humans to have empathy and understanding for each other, even if it requires a little more patience.

“You should keep trying to [pull people] back up, it’s very simple,” Lambert sophomore Abhinav Daddi commented.

All in all, what can we learn from the correlations between monkeys and humans? On our part, humans have a lot to learn when it comes to relationships and our actions towards each other, and the animal kingdom can be a model for this. For instance, monkeys live simple lives and simply take action in relationships instead of questioning and dragging problems. Whether or not that relationship is between family or friends at school, having a simple outlook on relationships, which are founded by holding a strong bond and keeping a strong bond even with setbacks, is an important concept humans must keep in mind. When it comes to actions, humans do the talking rather than taking action, a problem that is holding back much of society from succeeding in their academic and professional careers. Humans can learn from monkeys to look at relationships and others with a simpler, more forgiving outlook – work together to overcome problems and always support each other in any circumstance. It seems we have a lot to learn from our ancestors from the animal kingdom after all.