Here’s a small experiment that was done to understand human psychology. It shows beautifully how we adhere to dogmas and keep getting beaten down by the consequences without realizing that there is nothing to stop us.
In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go up the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all the apes with cold water.
After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result – all the apes are sprayed with cold water. Turn off the cold water.
If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them. Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one.
The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs.
Why not? “Because that’s the way its always been around here.”
Although the moral of the story can be applied to the origins of entire religions and company policies, I think it best shows how ragging in schools and colleges works.
Students who were ragged by their seniors think they should do it as well because quote “always been done”. The defendors of ragging say that it is a way of increasing interaction of juniors with their seniors. Bullcrap! I was never ragged by my seniors but I know many seniors who have helped me when I needed help. This article is not for the first year student but for the others.
Stop ragging! Not because a huge board in the campus says that you might be expelled if you are caught, but because it is wrong…period!