After a recent tweet by one of my
5 6 followers on Twitter relating to an article published on www.wired.com addressing the same title, it got me wondering what do the little six legged critters know or accept, that humanity is still battling with today. What knowledge did their little philosophers dish out to allow everyone to co-exist in perfect harmony.
What makes them so successful, living in such close quarters with a million of their brethren? What secrets have they accepted as reality and what are the things they stopped fussing about? Like gravity, those inevitable, in arguable truths of life.
1. Family is important. Did I mention the fact that they live with millions of their brothers and sisters, and that they all work together? No doubt that they nailed this one. I am not saying there are no bickering in the ranks, or no insults in the nursery, I am just saying that ants understand that it’s not necessarily about liking your family, it’s more about accepting them. Ants must have the uncle who enjoys his drink a little too much at weddings, who starts using undiscovered profanity and hugs every one a little too often. Or the ant-aunt who kisses everyone at the reunion, with so much slobbery passion that you need a towel to dry your mouth and chin afterwards.
Ants accept the importance of family, that coherent bond that cannot be broken, the same blood coursing through their little exoskeletons. They accept that there is no choice in the matter. Ants don’t go around and say “I have a brother like a best friend”, no it’s the other way around.
2. Men are stronger, but woman are the force of nature. Why else would we refer to Earth as a Mother? This has been proven countless times in history; a lot of powerful men fell damn hard in pursuing their desire to please the lady. Kings and leaders and presidents. Men are strong, we fight for what we believe in, we protect those things that’s important to us and we will lay our lives down for our loved ones. Soldiers, a first line of defence, but we all know that BEHIND EVERY SUCCESFUL MAN…. is the queen Ant.
The essence of our own White Houses resides in mom. She is the stabilising force, the one who brings serenity and peace. The Ant Queen who transform the four walls of the building we sleep in, into a home. You might think she only idles around, laying eggs all day, but remember she is the centre.
Don’t agree? Well my experience taught me that When the wife’s happy, everyone’s happy. Ants know that too.
3. Saving can save your life. Remember the story of the ant and the grasshopper? It’s all about being prepared, looking out for the bad times when you’re living in the good. I am not talking about stocking non-perishable food our of fear that aliens might invade on 20 September 2014, I am talking about planning. It might be for retirement or sending the kids of to college or finally taking that dream holiday to Turkey or Mars.
Ants understand the need to plan and we better get with the program soon.
4. It only takes on bitch (or ass) to ruin everything. The success of the colony resides in the queen doing her job, laying eggs, millions of them. Everything else flows from that. What if the queen suddenly wakes up one day, throws a hissy-fit, screams about her monotonous life, grabs her Gucci-bag and slams the proverbial door in the shocked faces of the workers attending to her. It will be a royal screw-up, that’s what.
Without the queen ant nothing makes sense. Nothing is worth doing. The colony will be in tatters. Soldiers will probably fight for rank, while the workers will run around hysterically, bumping and trampling one another. But it won’t happen. It just doesn’t work that way. The queen understands her responsibility and accepts it. She doesn’t moan or complain everyday about the cards dealt to her. She just does what she’s suppose to, to the best of her ability. Chin up and push, that’s her motto.
So dear human, don’t be the prick who always challenge the status quo, who always complain. Find some pride in what you’re doing and try to take some responsibility for your own actions. Make your own choices, stop blaming others for your failures and seek your own destiny, for no one else can do it for you. So, don’t fuck it up, for it only takes one.
5. Everyone is replaceable. Harsh but true. Let’s say the queen does find a drone, leave the colony and elope to Ant Vegas. What happened? Do you want the truth? Can you handle the truth? Well, they will just find another one. It’s simple, it’s survival.
In Homo sapiens, we find those unique specimens who consider themselves to be slightly evolved, just that little bit better than all the other normal people on the planet. Slightly more intelligent, beautiful, successful or whatever other characteristic they posses that allow themselves to feel superior. Why there are always certain humans that can brand themselves as “God’s gift to humanity” still amazes me daily.
Please don’t overvalue yourself. Your mom might think your special, but she’s the only one. You are NOT Christian Grey, for he only exist in awful literature. Before getting suicidal and rubbing your wrist on the pavement, remember that you are UNIQUE, not special. When you moved on, or changed, or disappeared, or died, life will go on without you. The truth is that it might take a day, a month or even a year, but things will go on. So get off that throne you placed yourself on, because aint no-one bowing today.
The slight twist of this fact is when you’re a nice guy. When you are able to spread happiness and laughter with a positive attitude. When you make the people around you smile. It still won’t make you special or irreplaceable, but it will make you unforgettable.
6. Teamwork is everything. In between the daily routine of more than a million bodies, fists and insults must have flown. It would be impossible to think that everybody likes everybody. Their secret is that they understand that you don’t have to like everyone you interact with, but you have to stuff that opinion where the sun don’t shine, and work as a team. Leave the high heels, attitude and boxing gloves at home. Teamwork allows us to achieve a very specific goal that will benefit everyone. It’s about doing your job and not care what the next person is doing or not doing. That concern belongs to someone else, hence soldiers and the queen. Focus on you and the rest will take care of itself.
7. Humans are cruel. This is a harsh truth, but what little kid who owned a magnifying glass, has not tried to roast some ants. It’s universal. We all tried it and probably enjoyed it. Don’t feel bad. All humans are born with the potential of becoming a serial killer. We are born with an inherent desire to do the wrong thing, thanks to a snake, an apple and a lady called Eve. With many years of evolution, guidance and conditioning; most of us are able to bury those demons in the deepest, darkest places of our existence and keep them there.
Sadly however, specific individuals let them escape and they release violent, irrational, criminal behaviour that becomes massive rocks thrown into our pools of serenity, creating big ripples of shock, despair and tragedy.
Imagine for a moment if you will, if no-one ever threw that stone. If humanity could forget greed, intolerance, envy, preconceptions and all the other irrational reasoning we might have for acting on that hidden demons. Imagine if peace could roam earth and all of us could remove violence as a word from the dictionaries. Imagine if we actually cared about our neighbours, about other living things or just the planet for that matter. Imagine what an amazing colony of humans we would be. We would be like ants, only better.
Oh and another thing Ants will tell you is that Anteaters are much more dangerous than they appear.
Thanks to Deborah Gordon for the inspiration, whoever you might be. If you are keen on reading the actual article on “What do ants know that we don’t” written by the lady, it’s available on the link below.