How can an ant be smarter than we are?
By Teresa LeNeave
“Go to the ant...consider its ways and be wise”
How can a measly, pesky little ant instruct me on how to live? Can you imagine, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, telling us, humans, who are intelligent enough that we can travel to the moon, create computer programs that can solve impossible math equations, and fight “smart wars”, to go to the aggravating little ant? Telling us to think about what they’re doing and try to emulate them? Sounds like nonsense doesn’t it? What can an ant know that we don’t?
For starters let’s look at some of the things an ant is known for:
First thing, ants are planners. Goal setters. They are always planning for the future. Even though ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer (Prov. 30:25). They plan ahead and leave nothing to chance. They can carry up to 20 times their weight. Some can carry up to 50 times their weight. On second thought, maybe they have more than a “little strength”. One of their greatest strengths is that they leave nothing to chance. They plan and then follow through with their plan.
The second thing that we know about ants is that they are social. You won’t ever find a “lone-star” ant in his comfortable little house, alone. They always live in a community. They always look after the community. Ants know all about caring for each other because they ALL work together to gather enough food to feed the whole clan.
A third characteristic about ants is that they are givers. Ants always share what they have. When an ant finds food, he doesn't keep it to himself. He leaves a scent trail that directs other ants to the food. Humans try to horde or save for their own safety, but not the ant. The ant is concerned with community.
The fourth thing ants do is watch out for each other. Ant experts say ants instinctively take up the slack for other ants. If a catastrophe occurs, ants respond by quickly adapting their duties to overcome the problem. If a food item is too heavy, other ants come to their rescue to help them carry the load.
Five. Ants adapt quickly. They "instinctively" re-shape their world if what they are used to changes. When ants find something wrong with their environment, they immediately do something about it. They adapt themselves to what's around them. They don't sit down and quit. Instead they regulate temperature and humidity within their nest, which helps the entire community thrive. Try killing ants with pesticides and you’ll soon realize they are hardy little fellows. They thrive because they adapt quickly.
Finally, ants are workers. They are not lazy. They work all summer to prepare for winter. At the first hint of warm weather they come out of hiding and begin their scavenger hunt for food to feed the colony. Ants are always productive and maybe that is what Solomon meant when he said, “Go to the ant, O sluggard (sluggish, lazy one) … consider its ways and be wise.”
Ants thrive because they are planners, social community lovers, givers, helpers who adapt to change quickly and they are not lazy. They have a job to do and they all work together to get it done. Maybe humans could take a few pointers from the measly, pesky little ant, afterall.
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