After breakfast one morning, I threw the crumbs of bread I had eaten into the dustbin. On getting back to the kitchen some hours later, I saw a line of these tiny ants coming and going. Surprised at the sight, I followed the ants to where they were going to and lo and behold it was my dustbin. I decided not to stop them and see how long it will take them to carry that crumb of bread. As if they knew I had dared them, when I returned after some hours what I saw wowed me. There was this tiny crumb that about five to six of them were carrying to wherever their destination was. After watching for some more hours, I discovered that this little creatures were not going to stop working, they just kept going and coming. Well my patience ran out and I spray them with some insecticide.
It didn’t take them long before they all disappeared and the unlucky ones died. How frail they were but very hard-working. Thinking that I have succeeded in sending them away, I was shocked when I saw that those living had found another route away from where the insecticide was to get back to business. You would almost think I was mad as I shouted at them, “don’t you ever give up?” I’m pretty sure they would have been laughing hard at me for shouting at them.
Growing up, my dad, my pastor, my teachers and almost every older person I knew always talked about learning from the ant. They said it like all you needed to do was to go get a book and a pen and go to the ant’s kingdom and ask for the school, enrol under the ant-teacher and learn. I’m sure you have heard that phrase before. To some people it has become a cliché. To me it had never been that. I just had a “one-way” understanding of that phrase. To me it meant that you should be hard-working.
The time spent studying this little creatures we don’t hesitate to step on or slap with our palms have taught me a life changing lesson. Another thing I discovered that day was that when I pressed on one with my finger, it didn’t give up its life so easily. It struggled and struggled, moved around a little and when it got better, it continued on its way not to safety but towards the farm (bread crumb) where its family were harvesting.
You lazy people can learn by watching an anthill. Ants don’t have leaders, but they store up food during harvest season. How long will you lie there doing nothing at all? When are you going to get up and stop sleeping? Sleep a little. Doze a little. Fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. Suddenly, everything is gone, as though it had been taken by an armed robber. Proverbs 6:6-11 (CEV)
So many of us write in our résumé or curriculum vitae – “ability to work under pressure with little or no supervision”. Yes, I have that in mine too. The résumé or curriculum vitae I would be talking about today is that of life. In so many organization, there is what they call appraisal. This can be a driving force to work harder and work smarter whether supervised or not. How about when there is no appraisal? If there was appraisal in the ant kingdom, the boss would sure be tired of going through them as it would be so many.
In Life’s résumé or curriculum vitae, we don’t need to write that phrase I earlier mentioned. We would know because it would be so evident one way or another. This résumé or curriculum vitae we are talking about presents itself in different forms which includes our character, physical work, interpersonal relationships, marriages and a host of others.
Some of us, our character, behaviour and attitude is one that once people come in contact with, they puke instantly. Learn from the ant, don’t wait till people start to monitor your improvement before you start working on yourself. Wake up from your sleep, stop dozing. Don’t wait till you lose all your friends, your job, your spouse or even your family before reality dawns on you. Proverbs says “Suddenly, everything is gone, as though it had been taken by an armed robber”.
Some of us after reading that verse would quickly relate it to money, common on, its not only lack of money that makes one poor. When an armed robber goes to steal, he steals every thing valuable not just money. Don’t get robbed of your peace, your joy, your happiness, your home, your spouse, your relationship with people or everything all because you are too lazy to work on yourself, too lazy to work on that attitude, too lazy to work on your marriage, too lazy in general.
Learn from the ants, they don’t give up. When while trying to become a better you some things come to knock you out of line just like my insecticide, find another route just like those little creature. Are you pressed down just like the little ant I pressed down with a finger, struggle, shake off the pain, get back on your feet, join the line and achieve success.
I believe in you and I, let’s believe in ourselves and WAKE-UP from that laziness. I have a friend who likes to look down on people, mock people and just spite people in general. After talking to her about it, she said she would change but made no effort to till I could no longer cope with her. When I distanced myself from her and she discovered she had no one around her, it was almost too late. Then she decided to wake up, she sure was beaten left, right and center. She bore the pain and continued just like the ant till she became a different person altogether. She became one of the richest person I know, not because she had so much money, but because she had so much beauty in her which brought good things to her.
Don’t wait until laziness robs everything from you. Wake up, get up and work up.
And to end my story, the only way I could stop the ant, was by spraying insecticide on their farm (bread crumbs). They left to go find another farm. Until you are stopped by God himself, keep being an ANT…
God bless you.
Copyright© Plenitude 2015