The Penguin and the Lion

Have you heard the story of the penguin and the lion?

The penguin, that small flightless bird that agilely swims through the water, was born in a zoo. Similarly, the lion was born in a circus. The penguin’s name was Fred, and lion was named Tiger.

The employees tried and tried to teach the lion tricks. They gave him treats when he was good and whipped him when he was bad. He was a slow learner. As a cat, Tiger just wasn’t that interested in doing what others said. Plus, nobody likes to be whipped for not understanding.

Fred the Penguin fared differently. He didn’t need any whip, a fresh fish was enough to convince him to do whatever the trainer wanted. He would jump through hoops, he would swim in patterns. Fred liked fish.

One day a little girl asked Fred’s trainers, “How did you teach Fred so well??” They said they give him a treat any time he did what was right, so he learns fast. Instead of trying to push him to good behavior, they pulled him to it.

It’s always easier to learn when rewarded for good behavior than punished for bad. This has been studied many times in the scientific community. It shows that to teach animals, reward good behavior always.

We humans are animals. Yelling at a human for something you don’t like isn’t rewarding good behavior. Trying to punish behavior creates anger. It’s not productive. We should be shouting in joy when they do something we _do_ like!

Rewarding what you like will give you more of it. Punishing what you don’t like will make everyone sad.

I think of it like trying to move a long stick. You should go to the front and pull it, so it goes exactly where you want. It will be a challenge to move by pushing.

So, reward good behavior. Speak up when you see something you like. When there is something don’t like, make a note to shout in joy when it improves.

Remember Fred the Penguin, remember that rewarding good, works.

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