Ant

Here my pen goes again with another time-consuming speech on a matter which is none of her business. It is said, “when a carpenter finds himself at sea with an empty net, he becomes a fisherman by instinct”. That is why I let my pen express itself regardless of the repercussions.

You may be wondering why I want to be an ant, and whether being an ant is safer or a wise thing to wish for than remaining a homo sapien. If the holy book tells human beings to go to that almost invisible and irritating insect “….and….consider its ways and be wise”, I am not far from being called a sage since, as an ant, I would serve as the advisor to many.

After making good use of my data bundle, I came across several articles and YouTube videos that gave me enough reason to still say, ladies and gentlemen, I wish I was an ant.

To mention but a few of these reasons, let me start with a blog post I found on wordpress.com by Diana Quartey. On 16th October, 2013, Diana wrote an article titled “7 Lessons we can learn from ants”. These lessons include:

7. Ants serve one another.

6. Ants carry workload they can carry.

5. Ants prepare ahead.

4. Ants think big.

I recoined the third lesson as

3. Ants have a timetable: #WorkTime and #RestTime”.

2. Ants work as a team.

1. Ants are driven by purpose.

On October 04, 2010, Harvard Business Review, a leading global magazine, gave an African space in their magazine to educate the world about “The Leadership Lessons of Ants”.

Ndubuisi Ekekwe, the African in question, said that ants;
(i) work as a team.
(ii) are open.
(iii) are partners and of different sizes.
(iv) diligent and focused.

Ndubuisi also mentioned one Peter Miller who said: “…ants teach us a lot about planning, military strategy, and business management.”

Nothing surprises me than one search result that said, “Spiritual lessons from ants”. This caption was so repugnant that I deliberately refused to find out what it contained. For crying out loud, do ants pray or pour libation? Well, my arrogance would make it impossible for me to answer that question. Nonetheless, I know a philosopher like Dan Dennett would find a way to answer that question as a result of his debt of knowledge and his sense of humour.

Dan Denett in his TedX presentation (Dangerous memes) which was filmed way back in 2002, built his premise using an ant analogy. He considered an ant’s attempt to “stay at the top” of a blade of grass as a “suicidal behaviour”.

If it wouldn’t be too much talk, let me elaborate on his ant story. He observed an ant crawling up a blade of grass. This ant kept falling few inches to reaching the top. It would climb the grass and fall but keep crawling back up. After Dennett grew fed up with this ant, he left.

I thought about the story and discovered something profound. Daniel Clement Dennett III, the American philosopher, gave up “watching” the ant but the ant persistently kept the climbing-falling-climbing-falling cycle active till only God knows when it reached and stayed at the top of that blade of grass.

Moral Lesson: Ants never give up even if it means death.

If a man like Pastor Mensa Otabil can allude to ants while counselling ladies, I think ants have a lot we as humans (created in the likeness of God) can learn from. Dr. Otabil is reported to have said that many pretty young ladies act “very silly” and later struggle for husbands. In trying to sound like my mentor, I said to myself, “Many young men act like heroes today and are later called has-beens”.

Oh God! How I wish this wouldn’t be my story. Despite my ragged status, I have conscious friends who have the patience enough to read my plenty talk, like my articles, comment on my posts and some even share them. To all my loyal readers, I’m very honoured because you guys make me feel like a national hero.

If only I was an ant, I would, by my genes, store food (live wisely and productively) in summer (while I’m young) so that when winter (hard times) comes, I would have food in excess.

Fortunately for our generation, the ant species is not extinct, unlike the dinosaurs. And we can watch and learn from these ants.

Let’s make the best of the opportunities we have now because “the house fly died of hunger because it refused to store food while the villagers were cleaning up.”

Don’t be that house fly. Be an ant.

This article was inspired by Webgeek Cyril’s post (Facebook post) on 26th August,  2016, 10:21 pm

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