No. I’m not going bananas but merely telling you a tale I tell most of the people when I am teaching them to focus and look at things objectively. It was something I learnt when I worked for a pharmaceutical company many moons ago. One of the sad but unfortunate tasks it was legally required to do was animal testing. I’m not going to go into that now nor in the comments, thank you. This is just a tale that taught me a valuable lesson.
One day on a tour of the new upgraded research facility we were shown around the animal pens and research areas just to be shown how the animals were kept. I was speaking to the lead researcher and I asked how they acquired the animals. At the time they were captured by hunters from the wild and transported to labs for testing purposes. He said they still caught them by putting a banana in a bottle which was fastened to a tree, the monkeys reached in and grabbed the banana and wouldn’t let go. The hunter came along put a chain on it’s neck and then gave it another banana where it let go the first, resetting the trap, and was taken away to be used for testing. I said I was surprised and asked if they adapted because apes are supposed to be intelligent. He replied that even humans have their own bananas. Intelligence doesn’t come into it.
It made me think and he was right. We laugh at the apes that get caught whilst holding a banana in a bottle but we have our equivalents, sure it isn’t as simple but it is just where the line is drawn. How many times have you seen the solution to a problem that has eluded someone else for a long time. It is more common in emotional issues because they do not want to face facts, they bury their heads in the sand so the solution can be pointed out to them and they will still deny it and refuse to let go of their own banana.
The trick is to recognise what is a banana. What can’t you control or mitigate against. Then just let it go. There is nothing you can do and you need to work on alternatives, sure they may not be as easy as the one in the bottle but you can’t actually get that one although you just know that with a change you can, just another try, another stretch, just a bit harder, faster, whatever. But it is just out of reach and you waste so much time trying.
In real life it is everything that modern life brings that is a banana, an unfaithful spouse but you keep on trying to trust them when that is not the issue, someone that is a drug user but you keep on trying to handle it yourself without any repercussions, no job, a big mortgage but you keep on hoping that something will come along and save you. We keep a tight grip on the banana and don’t let it go and look at alternatives because the alternatives need work or effort or cost more and not just financial cost. To others less emotionally involved they can see the solution but you do not accept that. You know it will change. It leads to arguments and falling out, sometimes permanently. The reason is you don’t want to lose them, to leave your home, to sell your car, to lose something you want even when you know it is inevitable, you hold on until someone else takes it away, your spouse leaves, your house or car are repossessed or sold on your behalf. The difference is now you end up with nothing, the house you could have sold is taken and you get nothing from the sale, your spouse is gone and so has a further three years of your life. It is always worse when you don’t take control and fix it yourself.
In prepping things are pretty much the same. We plan and we prepare but there are many areas where we will not tread. There are those that say they will not even consider eating a family pet, bugs or slugs. That is fine at the moment when we can find other bananas but when there are no others you will eventually look at your faithful pet as food. Luckily for us that particular instance is recoverable. Recognising that you cannot live the way you do is harder, to sell up now and move to a more affordable area or an area where you can grow your own crops and keep chickens may be more sensible than keeping a job that pays less than you need to live.
We need to ensure that we don’t become blinkered. Over a hundred years ago there was a famine caused by a potato blight. Thousands starved whilst grain was sitting in animal feed stores. The people did not see animal grain as food and ignored something that could have saved lives. Even today most of us in the UK do not see grains as food which is a shortcoming. This is one reason I like to put things out and discuss them. Someone comes up with a good idea, it may be rejected but once mentioned people keep thinking about it, people comment and then out comes a valid solution which would not have happened if the idea had not been raised or it had been received and rejected because it upset someone’s sensibilities. We need to look past our boundaries. We need to let go of our bananas and get on with what we are doing.
To do this we have to be realistic. Examine the issue, is it something you can do something about? Is it something that you should do something about but are too close to. If so, then you need to let it go and walk away. Let someone else deal with it on your behalf. Is it something you do not want to face then pass it on to someone else if you can. The only problem is that it may not be possible. It may be you are the only one who can deal with it but you don’t want to and it doesn’t get done. Sometime life is just crap and you are the one that has to face it.
The statement ‘Be true to yourself’ applies here. Don’t let lines that you don’t want to cross stop you examining the results if you do. Explore the eventualities and weigh up the benefits. Limiting yourself to certain actions is limiting your chances. That doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time but saying I could eat insects if I had to after an event is not the same thing as chomping away now. It is simply being realistic and thus you can investigate the species that could cause you problems if you ate them so you know which ones are safe. You can’t do that when you are looking at your first pile of insects after an event and wishing you had done some more research before you feed them to your kids.
Identify your bananas, we all have them, let go of those you can and those you can’t let go of pass to someone else and/or get advice on while you can. Don’t draw lines in the sand unless they really are fixed lines.