Friday, January 30, 2009

Consider the ant...

Years ago I wrote a little piece on my "Ant thoughts". And, for your reading pleasure, here are those very thoughts:

Two things:

#1. My dad always told me to look at the ant. See how hard he works? He works all day and never complains. He lifts twice his body weight and doesn't say a word about an achey back. He works with his co-workers and doesn't get in fights and squabbles.

All this pert advice supposedly comes from scripture, and was supposedly supposed to make me clean my room without grumbling and without fighting with my sister.

#2. My cabinets are overrun with tiny ants, scrambling for homemade bread-crust crumbs and the big red splat of strawberry jam. I noticed their ever-moving line as I was trying to find a half dirty glass to get myself a glass of water.

These two things got me wondering, thinking, and trying to make excuses for why I am not like an ant.

And here is what I came up with. Really, how do we know that ants are not complaining? They are tiny. If they made complaining noises we
a.) might not hear them, and
b.) they would be in a foreign ant language that is not understood by the common housewife or even an educated scientist. I doubt even a linguist could tell us if the ant was making sounds of pleasure or grumbling about the wicked queen who turned him into a slave.

How do we know there is not a tiny morgue lined with tiny ant parts from ants who have been slaughtered by other over-worked ants who have gone postal?

Oh, and another thing...we don't see what is going on under those any hills. Maybe there are rooms full of drunken ants watching all the other ant men carrying in jagged leaves and all of my homemade bread crumbs. Perhaps there are hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS of these lazy ants who sit on their third body part all day -dreaming of watching soap operas and eating bon bons...
AND, on top of THAT, ants are indistinguishable. They could be carrying one load back and taking in easy in a leaf hammock for the rest of the day for all we know. They COULD have a 2 hr work day and a 2 day work year, spending the rest of the time dreaming of soap operas and bon bons.

And one last thought. Ants are annoying.

They somehow worked their way into folkloric heroic proportions. They serve very little purpose (Leaves are capable of decomposing on their own), except to make me feel guilty. After all, they are such hard workers AND they wouldn't be in my house if I was more fastidious about cleaning up all the homemade bread crumbs off my counters.
They are simply a perky, little, crawling conscience.

So, I have considered the ant. And I have decided that I am not one. They have a thorax, an antennae, six legs, and seemingly super-human strength. Until God blesses me with six legs to help me do all my work, I am going to continue on as I have. Reading the online newspaper, doing dishes when we run out of clean ones, doing laundry when Mt. dirty clothes explodes, and having fun chasing my kids around the house whenever I feel like it. Oh, and I will spend a good amount of time dreaming of soap operas and bon bons...

(My ant study was not a scientific one. I manipulated my observations to create the theory I needed to salve my guilt)

(also, the constant reference to homemade bread was also an attempt to salve my guilt.)

That said, this video is FASCINATING! Watch and enjoy (and clean up your bread crumbs)


Renee Morgan said...

I am an "Aunt".
I am being lazy and unproductive.

But since I have been considering bugs I should go make sure my guest room and bathroom are not infested before the in-laws arrive.

muralimanohar said...

Who wants to be an ant, anyway? They are too easy to squish.

Alycia said...

That's pretty amazing!!!

But, to be a bit theological...if scripture says that the ant is wise and implies that it is not lazy (by comparing the ant to a lazy person) then we are to assume that the ant is wise and not lazy...I especially like this version from the message:
A Lesson from the Ant
6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent houseguest!

Of course, I can't say that I am like the ant...I am rather lazy- especially on ice-days when school is cancelled :)

Val in the Rose Garden said...

That was amazing! What an amazing thing the ant is. The beauty of being not an ant is that we can clean and enjoy it too. ;)