Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy Ants

Some Fridays are great, or at least they have become great. I remember Fridays when I was a kid, they were depressing (for those who don’t know, in the Middle East Friday is the weekend, the Sunday of the Arab world so to speak). For some reason me and Fridays reached an agreement. Ok, perhaps it is not as sentimental as it sounds. It is just the plain old day off where now as a working person it is the only time I get to relax. Every few weeks I am blessed with a wonderful Friday, a serene day when things are quiet in a nice way.

This Friday I was having one of those increasingly rare moments of complete serenity sitting in the garden sipping my coffee when I saw a line of ants. They seemed so busy hurrying along, funny how “walking” could be such a chore that needs so much attention. Anyway, the busy ants were hurrying along in long, long lines, running, following one another tirelessly in seemingly endless lines. I wondered, does the first one in line know that it is leading such a long line behind it or it just happened to be the first by chance. Does it know that a tiny mistake on its behalf would make the whole line get lost? Does it realize that a minor shift in direction might eventually lead the whole line into a whole new territory? Does it feel the pressure that so many are following it? Who makes the choice of the first ant in line, is it elected by popular vote? Is it appointed by some high ant commission? Is it chosen by the elders after long and tedious leadership training? Did it take navigation courses? Does this ant report to anyone, or do they just lead by instinct and then go home regardless of the results.

I caught myself in the middle of this one sided discussion and discovered that I was applying my worries, fears and uncertainties to the leading ant and I wished I could ask it if it had any of our worries and pressures or if leadership was an easy natural task in their world?

1 comment:

corine said...

Ants are born to follow that line, never to rebel or argue. It's got to make it a bit easier for both the ants and the leading ant.