Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Where the monkey puts his hand

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

I said to a friend:

‘It’s odd that proverb, “An old monkey never puts his hand in the pot”.’

‘Yes, but it has its own logic,’ he replied. ‘In India, hunters make a small hole in a coconut, put a banana inside and bury the whole thing. A monkey finds the coconut, puts his hand in the hole to grab the banana, but then can’t get it out because his closed hand is too big for the hole. Instead of letting go of the banana, the monkey stays there wrestling with the impossible and gets caught.’

The same thing happens in our own lives. The need to have a particular thing – often something small and useless – ends up making us prisoners of that need.

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