Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Finger traps, Monkey traps, and when not to resist: follow up to 31JAN16

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written Feb 3, 2016

Worship service on Sunday January 31, 2016 “Letting Go is not Giving Up” included a time for all ages that revealed a “Chinese finger trap” inside of the Wonder Box.  That in turn led to a story about how monkeys are captured using a hollowed out coconut with bananas inside.

Both the finger trap and monkey trap are predicated on the victim resisting- by pulling one’s fingers in an attempt to escape they become more securely stuck, and by gripping the banana inside the coconut the monkey is unable to slip its hand back out of the hole.

These examples led to the wondering questions of…

I wonder when we’ve felt like a monkey trapped by the coconut?
I wonder if we’ve ever been in situations that felt like one of these clever traps?
I wonder if it can be hard to remember to relax when we are scared, nervous, anxious, “feeling trapped”?

Such clever traps where the key to escaping is actually in relaxing and not resisting have been portrayed in other pop culture venues.
For example, someone pointed out from the Harry Potter series the Devil Snare trap.
I remember an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that had a similar theme.
And quicksand is nature’s finger trap!  Though not as dramatic as portrayed in many movies…

Those in attendance were welcome to take home 1-2 finger traps as a reminder to pause when faced with a difficult situation and consider if the key to solving the problem is actually in relaxing, letting go, as opposed to resisting and fighting harder.  There are still some left so please take a couple for yourself and to pass on to a friend or family member- though do be kind and show them how to unstuck themselves…finger traps