22 November 2009

Three Wise Monkeys

I came across the image of 3 monkeys each covering the eyes, the ears and the mouth. Mr. B. told me it is called the Three Wise Monkeys which embodies the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".

It was interesting to find out that this philosophy has its origin from a 17th century carving over the door of a famous shrine in Japan. While known as the Golden Rule, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" seems to have various interpretations across different cultures. Most humans believe it means not exposing oneself to things that are evil in order to stay pure. Others associate it with the virtue of having a good mind, speech and action.

The most interesting interpretation I discovered was the phrase being used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by looking the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, or feigning ignorance. In other words, willfully turning a blind eye to a malicious act.

Everyday in the funny farm, Mr. B. had to bear witness to many acts of unkindness by one human to another - dishonesty, hypocrisy, arrogance, pomposity; from superior to subordinates, from peer to another peer. A year or so ago, he would have lost sleep over these incidence or felt bad about allowing it to happen without making a slightest comment. He also found that the less people protest about it, the worse the abusers become, and everything comes down to the rationale that "such is the corporate world".

Wise Monkeys? I don't think so. They are just covering their eyes, ears and mouths in order to pretend nothing evil is happening around them. So sad...

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