Hi there! Recognize the picture above?

Last year, the photos went viral because the world thought it was cute to see a monkey smiling for the camera.

But what if I were to tell you that picture and the ones below were actually taken by the monkey herself?

“WHAT?!?! No!”

It’s true.

The photographer who should have been snapping the pictures, David Slater, was probably the last person expecting to come home with world famous photographs of this rare crested black macaque.

Most wildlife photographers have to hide out in cover and wait for the perfect moment to snap their beautiful photos, but not David.

After spending some time taking walks with this particular pack of monkeys, he felt comfortable leaving his camera gear unattended.

Little did he know what would happen shortly after.

Helping themselves to Slater’s gear, one of the monkeys picked up his camera, turned it around and SNAP!

What a Photo Snapping Macaque Taught Me About Courage

The sound frightened her. She dropped the camera and the whole pack trampled David’s gear as they fled from the danger.

After some time passed, they were curious, and came back slowly, like a child wading into the frigid ocean.

Building up the courage the monkey picked up the camera once again, this time glaring it’s teeth, as if saying, “Hey, I’m not afraid of you.”

What a Photo Snapping Macaque Taught Me About Courage

Sulawesi, Indonesia.

She then proceeded to take hundreds of blurry and random pictures as she examined her new wonder.

By now, David was getting a bit eager. After all, what good were these self portraits if the camera didn’t make it out alive.

So it was inevitable that he would make it into some of the photos as well.

What a Photo Snapping Macaque Taught Me About Courage

But it got me thinking, “I wish I could conquer my fears like a macaque”

Yes, I want to devolve and be more like a monkey.

Here’s why.

1. Macaque’s Don’t Live “What If’s”

These are rare monkeys. There are now just over a 100,000 of the monkeys left in the world and are considered critically endangered.

Yet they probably don’t think about just how frightening that is. They don’t spend everyday hiding in a cave in fear that some poacher will mount their head on a wall.

Yet I do.

Well not in fear of my head being put on a wall but in fear of other things. “What if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if I say the wrong things?”

2. Macaque’s Don’t Let One Bad Experience Stop Them From Trying Again.

When something goes bad I turn and run. Never to experience it again.

And more often than not, I miss out on an opportunity.

What would have happened if I just practiced piano a few more years, tried that shepard’s pie one more time, or sent out one more resume?

These macaques didn’t have those regrets.

A camera freaks them out…no big deal, just grin and push buttons.

3. Macaque’s Don’t Fear Change

I found it amazing that the monkeys were able to adapt so quickly to having a new living being following them around.

In the picture above, it even looks like one of the monkeys is holding David’s hand.

Are humans that accommodating of new things or people entering our lives?


I was at a friends’ house last week for dinner. When we got there they let my wife and I know that they had invited a stranger to eat with us.

I didn’t say anything, but just thought, “okay, that should be interesting.”

He was a friend of a friend, so at least he had that going for him.

Without hesitating, our host openly admitted, “I didn’t want to have dinner with someone I’d never met before, so I felt better inviting you over too. The last person we tried this with was a complete creeper.”

The guest turned out to be an interesting person, but we all had our nerves up and were hesitant at first. And I sure wasn’t holding his hand before he left.

What a Photo Snapping Macaque Taught Me About Courage
There’s a Tarzan in Each of Us

So what will I do differently?

From now on, when fear starts to creep its ugly little head in my life, I’ll dig into my inner Tarzan and show fear who’s the king of this jungle.

Lose the fear.

No more “What If’s”

Enjoy change.

images courtesy of caters and AZRainman