The Emperors new clothes the Monkey and Global warming
Posted On May 18, 2021
The Emperors new clothes is another one of those stories that pops up in the culture of many civilisations.
In the western world it was first published with “The Little Mermaid” on 7 April 1837, by C.A. Reitzel in Copenhagen, as the third and final instalment of the first collection of Andersen’s Fairy Tales Told for Children.
Wikipedia gives us a clear version of the general plot which shows the gullibility of humanity and the way these unfortunate truths can become ingrained in our thinking. It sometimes takes a new look (by a child) to point out our flaws and accepted mistakes
It seems hard to argue that what we do has affected our home on planet earth. We talk about deforestation in the Amazon but the truth is most of us live in countries that have already been deforested.
We just don’t think about this because we have accepted the situation as we think it is. However it just isn’t true.
In England where I live there used to be a very, very big forest, there were no houses, no roads, no cars, no factories and hardly any people. I’ve never seen it like that and these options are usually hidden to me and the other 70 million who live here because we think that the way we see things now is how it is (and always has been).
The emperors clothes is a story about seeing things as they are or seeing things as everyone sees them these two are not always the same.
No where is this more true that in the unsustainable practices we humans accept as part and parcel of every day life…….
The good news is that it doesn’t take too much for us to open our eyes and see them from a different viewpoint.
In this case as it is wit global warming it seems to be about the voice of children….
Emperors new clothes – The Plot
Two swindlers arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent.
Obviously these clothes are very expensive because of their special powers.
The emperor hires the weavers and orders a new suit of clothes and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and then the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Each knows the nature of the special clothes and although they all see that the looms are empty and the clothes are non existent they all pretend otherwise to avoid being thought a fool. Finally, the weavers report that the emperor’s suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then begin to realise that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking more proudly than ever, unable to admit his mistake.
Pointing out alternatives is not always win:win
Challenging commonly accepted wisdom or truths can be tricky work. It often meets resistance particularly if the new truth means that the supporters of the old truth think they have something to lose…
It was amazing how many of the delegates on our courses preferred to hang on to old ways that didn’t really work rather than change and try a new idea on for size.
Most of us seem to have a strong urge to be or appear to be right and this can be more important to us than being successful. It’s sometimes hard and painful to admit we are wrong or even consider a new idea with an open mind.
We think the existing ways of dealing with our Monkeys are mistaken. We think they are based on a false premise, that the Monkey is uncontrollable and a problem. The Misaligned Monkey idea is different and suggests there is mileage in treating the Monkey as something that wants to help and will help if certain conditions are met.
Like the non existent emperors’ clothes this may prove difficult for some to accept.