Kung Fu, a Monkey, and an Apple

My dad loved Westerns.  I didn’t.  Still don’t.  But, I’ve always loved martial arts.  The early 70’s TV series Kung Fu had both, so it was something we watched together.  I went on to acquire black belts, and my dad got a cowboy hat and boots. 

Anyways, the show had it’s moments of wisdom, especially in those flashback cut scenes of a young Kwai Chang Caine interacting with his Shaolin teacher, Master Po. 

One particular scene has stuck with me to this day.  I only saw it once, but I’ll never forget it: There’s the young Kwai Chang and Master Po observing a monkey.  This monkey has his hand in a vase.  Inside the vase, there’s a apple.  The monkey has his arm inside the vase and he’s grasping the apple, trying to remove it, but he can’t.

While the monkey can easily put his hand inside the vase, he finds it impossible to remove it, because when he’s grasping the apple, it’s too large to fit back through the opening.  The monkey is frustrated and as much as he tries frantically to get the apple and his hand out, he can’t.

If the monkey wanted to be free, all he had to do was let go.

Master Po then showed Kwai Chang that if the monkey let go, he could turn the vase over and the apple simply falls out.  There’s an easier way. 

Let go, because most times, there’s an easier way.  But, even when the “apple” is unachievable, at least we’re not falsely handcuffed to a vase.  

Patience Grasshopper.

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