You may have heard of the maxim of the 3 wise monkeys but have you heard of the 4 wise monkeys?
As you may know, the 3 wise monkeys together signify the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". So what is the 4th monkey not supposed to do?
A friend recently told me the answer. As he is a respectable man, he made me promise not to name him. (In other words, in keeping with the spirit of the proverb, I am supposed to speak no evil of him. Haha.)
Anyway, this was what he said:
While chatting with a male colleague one day, he asked me if I've heard of the 4 wise monkeys. I said, "No, I've only heard of 3."
He proceeded to show me (using actions):
See no evil
Hear no evil
Speak no evil
(Disclaimer: The photos here are for illustration purpose only. My friend is certainly no chimpanzee and I am quite sure he does not even work with them, whether literally or figuratively.)
Before showing the action for the 4th monkey, he looked around to make sure that no lady colleagues were around:
Do no evil
(Disclaimer again: Photo is for illustration purpose only - my friend and his colleague were fully-clothed then. And I didn't pose for this photo - I don't have such a chiseled body, but how I wish I had. I used this photo merely because I couldn't find one in which the chimpanzee is modest enough to cover his crotch. Also, I don't mean that only men should do no evil - women too - but if I have used a woman's photo instead, I will have to cover more than just the crotch.)
Actually, the 3 wise monkeys as well as the 4th monkey are mentioned in this Wikipedia link. So my friend's colleague is not really the originator of this story. (That, I hope, is not speaking evil of him. And I trust that you didn't see anything evil from this blog entry either.) So relax, my friend - your reputation is still intact.
May I add that this story holds a special meaning for me as I was born in the Year of the Monkey. Honestly, I cannot claim to have lived by all four "monkey don'ts" but I am not telling which one(s) I ran afoul of.