The cliche ‘Take it or leave it ‘ is used when an offer is non-negotiable, not leaving a chance to be discussed or changed.
However, when I was reading a story about a monkey, I saw the above cliche in a different way.
The story is that a monkey saw an apple in a jar, so he extended his hand in the jar to take the apple, so far, so good, When he picked the apple, and with the jar having a narrow neck, his hand could not leave the jar while holding the apple at this point he couldn’t take the apple, and had no other option but to leave it.
People trapped in houses surrounded by floods or raging fires, have so much to take with them that they cherish and value, but in that situation, have no other option but to leave them behind, and rescue their own lives, sometimes just wearing their pyjamas.
Once they make it back to their destroyed homes, they are devastated to see their life savings gone forever, not even a picture in an album left to remind them of their good memories throughout the years, and then they are reminded that they are still alive and able to make more memories.
Analysing this cliché in a metaphoric manner, I realised how many things in our lives we became attached to and can’t let go of, hence our hand remains stuck in the jar, the hand is not free and the apple is unreachable. For example, it could be someone we love who has moved on in a new relationship, getting stuck in memories and yearning for this lost love, will not help matters.
The same goes for business deals gone wrong, bad debts to close friends and family, and many other examples. In all the above situations, we should see the red light flashing in front of our eyes, that we should indeed leave it, let go and move on. I have not heard many happy stories of people who could not let go, the end result was more suffering, isolation and many times resulted in real physical and mental health repercussions that take a long time to heal.
As for the monkey in our story, being a survivor, he would probably think about other ways to overcome this challenge, needing to eat the apple he might resort to breaking the jar and getting the apple. But here is where the distinction between an animal intelligence and a human intelligence is made.
Humans know that breaking the jar by force, might get them the apple, but a broken jar, even if glued together, can never be the same, and in the process, if some of the broken glass finds its way to your hands, you would have to deal with more wounds. So when it comes to matters one should let go of, one can indeed leave it rather than take it.