By: Kwaku A. Danso

I just returned to home base from a lovely holiday trip to Banff, Alberta Canada and for my first TV show on Sunday as I relaxed and channel searching this morning, whiles nursing aching heel tendons and do my Yoga exercise with pain and stretching, I watched aPBS (Public Broadcasting Service) program on Nature.



The show took a turn from the lives of different types of Monkeys from around the globe – Asia, the Americas to Africa, and depicted and illustrated their living survival mechanisms and organizational strategies. There are different types of monkey and the way they find take care of their babies, find mates, communicate with each other, live in groupings, and how in some cases different species can actually co-exist and move together to from what may be considered a town of diverse monkeys, is simply interesting for somebody who is interested in Organization and Management and Leadership.

In the show we observe and see how the monkeys take care of the young, growing and learning, seek their food and stay away from predators or strategizing to win and take from competitors like other monkey who seek the same food. Some of them even can go underneath water, swimming, spotting predators like snakes, all the way to leaving and living on the top of high trees and jumping from tree to tree.??


?????The first lesson is the lesson that no matter the color of the monkey, they need to pull together and live together to become strong, alert each other and present a stronger defense mechanism against predators. Some of these monkeys have varying degrees of eyes and mouths hair colors, cosmetic nature designs, some with moustaches, some with black and white hair and yet they see each other as part of the monkey community.

????The second lesson is learning and survival in a jungle where food is not only theirs. The competitive strategies and techniques are very interesting indeed and no different than what we see in America or global Business strategies, be it between Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and VW, or Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. One of them is effective Communication within the organization. If any monkey spots any predators, snakes or lions, leopards, they have a language to communicate this to all others in the town,, err, community. To confirm that monkey developed a language long before man did, or man is not the only one with French, English or Chinese to brag about, we see that when a predator is a big hawk in the skies, the language alert lets all the monkeys look up in the skies. When the danger comes from a big snake, the alert lets all the monkeys get out of the water immediately and climb up into the trees.

?????Humans claim to have integrity, honesty and character and sometimes we think animals may not know this. Monkeys knew long time ago that sometimes one can lie to take advantage of a community. Sometimes one of the monkey will sound a false alarm about a snake and while all the monkey climb out of there into the trees, the lying monkey will stay behind and enjoy an egg he has seen hiding in the water. Of course there is punishment when the others realize the crook monkey was lying to them!


????Another part of the show depicted how some monkey actually graduated from the forests and around waters to live in desert areas with less natural endowment and found ways to survive. It is not unlike how some humans found areas in large tracts of desolate land and created their townships and cities. This demanded some use of technology, and use of intelligence to figure out not only how to escape from predators, but transportation systems and application of tools. This is there the Baboon came in the show.

The Baboon is actually large enough, courageous enough and is a no-nonsense creature. He does not give an intrusion of his territory to an external deity or God to solve the problem for them. They use what I have described in other writings as Creative Confrontation. The Baboon can actually summon other baboons and chase leopards at such speed it is incredible. As they chase they howl and make noise as we saw at University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s/1970s with not only sit-ins, but ?On Strike Shut it Down!?. When men,, I mean baboons, have had enough, it is amazing how they use Creative confrontational strategies and eventually can drive the object of dissatisfaction or intrusion away. Failing that it is matter of life and death sometimes.


Perhaps the most important and interesting aspect of this documentary is the strategy devised by the baboon to achieve and enjoy dried coconuts and palm nuts. The baboon climbs up the coconut trees, plucks the coconut and with his teeth takes the heavy fibrous sheaths off. He throws the coconuts on the ground and leaves them to dry for a few days. The team of baboons move these coconuts to a save location and watch them dry.??They then devise a away to select the ones that are full ripe using sound, what an Electrical engineer may describe as a sonar and audio technology. The sound of the coconut when shaken or hit with a small stone creates a sound of different frequency and the ripe ones can be chosen based on the sound or sound frequency. Humans use this method to choose from water melons, and we should therefore not think we are the smartest cookies on earth!

Security during this system of procurement, selection, transportation and process is very important. The baboon watches for predators. During the drying process a predator who has now sowed and toiled but wants to enjoy, say a leopard or other animals may come around. In an example, a leopard shows around and the smaller sized baboons quickly climbs to the top of the mountain and rains stones and rocks down the hill till the intruder is scared for his life and runs away from the danger. The baboon comes down and from there exhibits one of the nicest use of the brain ? a techniques to crack open the coconuts and palm kernels to get the fruit out and enjoy! It is a joy to see how a baboon uses a stone, polished hard stone, to keep pitting the nuts till eventually they get it right to crack the shells.


The morale of this documentary this morning what the fact that animals, even animals, use their brains to seek mates, to protect themselves, devise means or strategies to seek and attain personal interests in a competitive environment. Some of them cheat and lie but are punished when caught. They learn to partner with others even of different colors, fur or hair styles, looks and ages, to seek common defense and purpose. They move together in communities with a common purposes and self??protection, and have devised ways to fight enemies and external predators and punish internal detractors, and technologies to live and to enjoy the good things of the earth.??

If humans, after all the education cannot do these and better, then it leads me back to a question of my late grandfather Kwame Opong as to what kind of humans we are. It was for such also that led the late Rodney King, beaten by Los Angeles police almost to a pulp and survived, when he saw the riots and burning and fighting in LA, asked: ?Can?t we,, can?t we all, get along??

Of course animals, baboons, are cracking coconuts and enjoying life using their brains and technology.

Why can?t we also?


Source: Kwaku A. Danso


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