The Ant Rant

The Ant Rant

I first met Olga when I was working as a cocktail waitress in a cheesy and somewhat sleazy jungle theme bar and restaurant in downtown San Francisco. She was a bartender there, and I believe she was Swedish, but I am not sure. I don’t even remember her name, but will go with ‘Olga’ because that name conveys a certain Scandinavian essence. She was super pretty and blonde, and looked like a pop recording artist.

One day, I attempted to kill a fly while waiting for a drink order. She stopped me, and explained in her thick accent that it was not good to kill, as all life is precious, even insects. I was floored, and couldn’t believe that I had actually met someone who thought like this. But little did I know what an impact she would have on me, for it ultimately changed my behavior and even now my husband and I both do what we can to catch and release insects that we encounter in the RV, whether fly, beetle, or bee.

So, the point is, insects aren’t disposable…they have and play important roles, just as people do. I believe that we all have special gifts, talents and skills to share with the world, and in a way that only we can. No one is inherently ‘better’ than another, in terms of broad terms such as culture, religion, ethnicity, and in terms of specific individuals as well! We all have a part to play.

Fast forward to now. I want to invite the reader to consider and align with the belief that the experience of helping others will always bring a benefit to you. Always. When faced with decisions that will affect people’s lives, don’t think of others and / or large populations of people with the same disconnect that many can have with insects. Don’t think of them as ants.

Even though ants are supercool. Did you know that ants treat each and every one of them as important? When an ant in the colony is injured, it releases a pheromone that other ants respond to and help. They will pick up and carrying the wounded ant back to the nest, where they will perform triage by licking the wounds. This both cleans and adds an antibacterial element that helps them to heal and prevents infection!

Another cool thing is that ants are intelligent enough to pass ‘the mirror test’: that they can recognize their reflection, and also use the mirror as a tool. An experiment was done in which teeny, tiny, dots of blue were placed on an ant’s head, and when faced with the image of themselves, they would try to wipe it away. Pretty cool, huh? They join the ranks of other animals such as dolphins, orcas, apes, etc., and of course, my beloved black manx cat Booie (but that is a story for another day)!

Perhaps the message to take away is that we should all treat each other as ants; at least that way we would recognize each other as individuals worthy of a basic respect. 😉

I send you peace and love

Be safe, be well

T.K. / RVE

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