The Ant Has More Than Just High Hopes

Four ants working as a teamAs I was sweeping my patio at home this past weekend, I noticed a number of pavement ant mounds between the bricks, which reminded me it was time to call my friendly pest control technician who protects my home from a (potential) annual ant invasion.

But it also got me thinking though about how selfless pests are and how they really get the idea behind this whole team thing.

Let’s take the ant as a simple example.  The goal of any ant colony is simple — protect the colony at all costs.  Everything they do is designed to support the colony — to feed it, protect it and especially protect the queen.   Everyone has a clearly defined job in the colony — swarmers reproduce; workers forage for food, etc.  Ants are prepared to die for the colony.   In fact, in some ant species, an ant that is ill or hurt will actually leave to die alone and protect that of their colony mates.  Others will literally use their bodies to fill potholes to make travel easier for its colony mates.

While the specific examples are different, the same type of “all for one and one for all” mentality can clearly be found in termite colonies and stinging insect nests as well

Now, I’m certainly not suggesting we go to the extreme lengths that pests do, but I think there’s a lesson or two we could learn from them in our own day to day lives. Do you remember the Frank Sinatra “High Hopes” song, “Just what made that little old ant think he could move that rubber tree plant?”  The singer answers:  “cause he’s got high hopes…” I propose that we change the answer to: “He’s got lots of good friends who are always there for him…” Ok, might be pushing it a tad.  What do you think?

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