Spending my early years on a farm taught me many things. I learned about ‘chores’ and ‘pitching in’. There was always plenty to do. But there was also plenty of free time for a youngster. And the farm was a virtual amusement park for a youngster fascinated with insects. There were beetles and butterflies, bees (got stung twice!), moths and all manner of creepy crawlies to study. I was in 4-H and collected insects. I attended summer school and participated in nature study courses. To me, insects were cool! But one insect stood out in my mind. It was tiny but more powerful than a Grizzly Bear for it’s size. The ant.
The ant can accomplish incredible feats
I watched black ants, stayed away from the red ants (their bites stung!) But the black ants were amazing. They were gatherers, collecting insects, insect bits, and anything else that could be used as food for the colony. I remember watching this ant dragging a dead fly UP a stair step! I thought, “How DOES he do that?” Climbing a vertical surface dragging a fly ten times his size. It still amazes me.
He just did it
I wrote a story about that ant. The message of the story was, “Be the Ant!” Now I believe ants have a special ability that is based on one and one thing alone. They don’t allow the word “can’t” in their vocabulary. Let me rephrase that. The ant I studied carrying that dead fly up a step never said, “I can’t do this!” He just did it. And he did. He just did it. Amazing!
What can we learn from the ant?
What can we learn from the ant? First, we can embrace the ant’s lifestyle and never say “can’t.” I have seen people do amazing things. I have seen gymnasts perform with no legs. I have watched a guitar player perform using his feet, because he had no arms or hands. Handicapped? Absolutely not. Some of the biggest handicaps we encounter in life start in our heads with one little statement, “I can’t.”
Expect setbacks but don’t give up
Now we probably should anticipate and even expect some setbacks as we conquer our demons but even that ant didn’t make it to the top of the step on his first try. That’s the second thing we can learn from the ant. Don’t give up! Hang in there. You have to eat the elephant one bite at a time.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Come summer, I recommend you spend a little time studying a few ants. Phenomenal creatures. After you see what they are capable of, you’ll be thankful they aren’t any larger than they are. They would likely rule the world!
Be the ant! Rule your own world. Do amazing things. Amaze yourself with what you are capable of and share your enthusiasm with all around you! It only takes a spark. Even the spark of an ant.