Monkey See, Monkey Do – A Tale Of Mimicry

three monkeys - monkey see monkey do
How many of you are familiar with the TV show ‘The Walking Dead’? Actually it doesn’t matter if you aren’t – any zombie show or movie will do.

You may have noticed that the life (death) of a zombie is a pretty simple one. They merely shuffle forwards, not knowing who they are, what they are doing or where they are going. Their trance-like state is only interrupted by sudden noise or the faint whiff of human brains.

The entire horde will refocus and drag their weary, starving limbs towards their new goal. Maybe this time they will get to satisfy their insatiable need for human flesh – or maybe it was a false alarm and they will continue on this new, unknown path, following each other until something new grabs their attention.

Why do they behave like this? Here’s a hint – they used to be human.

We behave like this every day.

The only difference being the end goal.

Substitute brains for an intense need to be noticed, to be loved, to be successful and to simply have an easy life – and we’re almost the same as our rotting counterparts.

Monkey see, monkey do – a conventional explanation for mimicry without knowing the consequences of our actions.

We shuffle along without knowing where we are going – following each other in search of the path of least resistance.

It’s a pathetic existence that will create unhappiness and resentment. If we do what everyone else does than who are we really? What separates us from the faceless horde of zombies that are equally clueless?

What separates us from the animals? Monkey see, monkey do?

More like ‘Human see, human do’.

For years I knew that I wasn’t cut out for the ‘real world’. I resisted everything that tried to put me in a box – the invisible shackles that kept me from running away only existed through fear. Terrified to try something new, to swim against the tide in the hope of a better life.

I was trapped in limbo – in the middle of a tug of war between the life everyone else deemed acceptable, and the life that I would deem acceptable. I wanted to cross over to the other side, but it took me almost half a lifetime to finally follow my instincts instead of the masses.

If we forgo our individualism for conformity then we are sacrificing the very thing that makes us the most evolved species the world has ever known. We have the largest brains for a reason – we have the potential to achieve great things. Some of us do, yes – but most of us choose to switch off and coast through life.

It’s a curse that as human beings, we only truly want the things that everyone else has. The value of something is enhanced by how valuable it is perceived by others.

Our own opinions don’t seem to matter. We prefer to agree with the crowd rather than stand up for what we believe in.

Deep down you know what you want out of life. Ignore everyone else – every now and then we need to start looking after number one.

Follow your own desires, wants and needs. Wear the clothes that make you comfortable – get the haircut that suits your personality – engage in the activities that make you happy.

You’re not a number, or a faceless person in the crowd of life. You’re an animal, but with one major difference – the ability to choose the path that you want.

Don’t be a monkey.

Don’t be a zombie.

Just be you.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a guitar teacher and writer who hates the typical 9-5 existence. After quitting his job to enter the world of guitar tuition, he created this blog to document his thoughts and struggles as he takes on societies norms armed with nothing more than his cheeky wit and undeniable charm - Give his Facebook page a like, add him on Twitter or follow his Google+ page and he will repay you with even more awesome words!


  1. I used to mimic others thinking that individuality was wrong. Fitting in was what you’re supposed to do because everyone else is, right? Nowadays I always step back and I realize the majority has it wrong a lot of the time.
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