The Study Of The Ant

“Hard work, long hours and burning the midnight oil might cause mental or physical tiredness, but will not cause death. As a matter of fact with hard work one just might fill their storehouse; that is IF they not only work hard, but smart…” — Rick Cox

Most of us have had to work hard our entire lives to obtain that which we have today. Some of us have achieved certain levels of success easier than others. Usually, those which achieve easier success do so as a result of using one’s brain rather than their brawn. On the other hand, and it seems for most, there are those of us that have had to learn by attending HKU (Hard Knocks University). For those who have attended HKU, there is a mixed bag of results. In HKU, all of the attendees get knocked down.

The down side of being knocked on your rear is too many never get back up. It is as if when they were knocked down, they were knocked out or put into a coma. The truth in most cases is they were not knocked out, they simply decided not to get up and go through the struggle, fight or battle again. Even if they were knocked out, the fact they awoke provides an additional chance to get at it again only smarter this time. Unfortunately for those who do not get up, there is little hope; for one must remain in the race if one is to receive any prize for prizes are handed out at the end of the race, but not to those that quit.

There are others, whether just knocked down or knocked out that decide to get up and keep trying. Many of these have to get knocked down over and over again but they keep getting up. Whereas, most finish the associate’s degree in a few years, a bachelor’s in four, they that attend HKU, like myself, are among those taking a bit longer to get their degree. (Side note here: it takes some of us slow learners quite a bit longer – up to a dozen years just to get an Associate’s Degree). These people hung in there year after year continuing to believe things would work out even after getting knocked down many times. And, though the journey was long, they now finally have their associate’s degree.

Unfortunately, in gaining the associate’s degree, one has only begun the education process; an education process that never ends. There is so much to learn as well as a long road to travel depending on how far up the success ladder one wants to climb, or how desperately one wants to become all they have the capacity to be.

To think intelligent beings, such as you and I, should study the lowly little ant might come across as an insult. You may not see the value, but trust me there is more value than you might ever imagine. The ant is quite the little worker and the study of the ant can help us better our own lives.

Solomon told us to go to the ant, consider its ways and be wise: which having no commander, guide, ruler or overseer, provides meat in the summer and gathers food during the harvest for the winter. The reason for this is the ant is ruled from the inside. The ant does not require someone to tell it what to do in order for it to have the provisions necessary for maintain life. When one thinks this through, it is sad to discover that of all the creatures on this planet, which should be ruled from the inside and have their lives under control, one would think it would be the human being yet, for the most part, it is not.

Unlike many humans, the ant doesn’t wait for someone to come along and tell it what to do. The ant doesn’t require a motivational speaker to get it going. The ant recognizes the need for diligence in order to provide for its own needs as well as those of others. The ant is diligent to go out to gather and come back with provision. The ant doesn’t wait for someone to wake it up or blame someone or something else when they are not at work on time. The ant doesn’t look for excuses as to why they can’t begin their gathering process, like humans do, they just do it.

It is so easy to compare our lives to the ant. For example, have you ever stamped out an ant hill? Have you ever tried to dig one up? Have you ever poured water down the ant hole? What happened? The next day when you came back the ant hole was open again and the ants were working diligently gathering up food and supplies to take into their place of residence. Could we not compare our messing with their home to be the same as having some sort of disaster that hit our home? Would this not be the same as losing our job; having our home burn down; our car or work tools stolen? Would it not be the same as going through a difficult sickness? Of course it would. The difference is the ant didn’t stop. Unfortunately, more often than not, we humans, do.

The ant is diligent. It is this diligence, which makes the ant worth a closer look. The ant is persistent and hardworking, but along with the persistence and hard work the ant works smart. The ant would not try to dig a trench with a spoon when the use of a shovel or even a trencher would be better and faster. It is all about getting more done in less time with less effort. This would be the way of the ant.

Your story might be about how tenacious you are, but your tenacity might land a few head wounds on you the likes from which you may not recover. I used to say I was persistent and tenacious and wouldn’t stop until the door opened or I knocked it down. Oh yeah smart me, backing up then running at the door hitting it with my persistent and tenacious body with the result more often than not being the also tenacious door would not have budged. I could have used a hammer to tenaciously beat against the door denting it all over and causing stone bruises on my hands and more than likely the tenacious door would still be closed. I might pick up a large log and tenaciously beat it against the door filling my hands with splinters, but the tenacious door would still be closed.

Or, I could use my tenacity to study how to remove the hinges or lock and get the door open with wisdom and a little might. Solomon said go to the ant AND BE WISE. Obviously the ant is wise. The ant used wisdom as it went about doing what was necessary to gather in the supplies at harvest time. Are you using wisdom and diligence like the ant? Are you being led from the inside or do you need someone to come along and press your button or pull your rope to get you started? What if no one ever shows up? If this is you, I would suggest you get a better plan…

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox