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What can we learn from ants?
At the start when man arrives in this world, he knows nothing about anything here. Perhaps that is why it is said, ‘no one brings anything from mother’s womb’. Everyone we learn is from here, from this very universe. This includes all the skills, the education and all the capabilities. The process continues throughout our lives. The learning actually never ends. Even at the old age, we are learn something each day. It might be small in some cases but it is there. In addition to the regular mode of education including educational institutions, we also learn a lot from our observation and experience and by observing others doing them. If we observe things keenly, there is always something for us to learn and practice. Even smaller insects are there to teach us a lesson. This would only work if we are ready to pay attention. I mentioned earlier how honeybee puts a lot of efforts in making honey (efforts put in by the honeybee). Ants are still another, though quite small, organisms that show us a systematic life style to learn from. If we keenly observe their movements and how they work, we will be amazed to know how organized they are. This article is a brief description of how they continue working harder in their life.
Like honeybees, ants are social insects as they live together in the form of a colony. They are found everywhere on earth except the areas that remain frozen throughout the year. The interesting thing about them is their brain size. They are the only organisms with the largest brain size in proportion to their body. This makes them the smartest animals with about 250,000 brain cells.
Ants are the only animals that can carry about 35 times more weight than their own body. This is really amazing. The average life for ants ranges 45-60 days. There might be one or more queens in the colony who are responsible for laying eggs. The drones are there only for mating. The main work is done by worker ants. They keep on working throughout their life. They are sexually undeveloped. Their major duties include searching for food, looking after young ones, keeping larvae young ones separate, based on their ages and guarding the nest from unwanted visitors. They also clean their nest by removing the rubbish. Each colony has a unique smell which distinguishes it from ants of other colonies.
They all work in coordinated pattern. If one ant finds a food source, she tells it to other workers by leaving a trail of scent to be recognized by fellow workers. They always help others. This is a common observation that if a single ant cannot pick up a piece of food, other workers come forward to help her. In a few moments, that big piece of food is carried to the colony by their mutual effort. Not all workers go for searching food at the same time. They have a division of labor for their work. Some go for food while others guard the nest.
They are so numerous in number in a colony that gives us a feeling that they never sleep or take rest and keep working 24/7. This is actually not so. They do change their shifts but this is quite calculated and we can’t figure this out due to their huge number.
They keep collecting the food throughout summer and hibernate during winter, utilizing the stored food. This hibernation is done only during the coldest months. The colony continues to operate even in winter, though at a slow speed.
Humans get a lot of benefits from ants. These include:
Ants keep the soil healthy – they keep digging the soil to make way for themselves and to make their own colonies beneath the soil. This helps turn the soil upside down which actually increases the fertility of the soil. This is good for farmers.
They play their role in keeping the environment healthy – they help pollinate most of the flowers while collecting nectar from them. They are thus working as agents of change for the environment. That pollination is necessary for the continuation of the race for those plants.
Real Janitors of the world – they help to keep the area clean. If some dead insect is lying there, just give them a chance and the dead body will be moved like it was never there. If a big goat is killed by a wild animal, major portion of the flesh and bones is taken away by carnivorous animals. The remaining part is cleared from the site by ants and that too within minutes. They are thus the real janitors of the world.
The question is what is there for us to learn from all them. If we ponder upon a little, there is a great deal to consider. Some aspects are mentioned below but this is not all.
Have you observed ants working together?
They never give up – This is the main feature of their personality. When they decide to do a job, they never move back, whatever the circumstances. No obstacle in their way can stop them from completing that task. You can actually try it yourself. Put some eatables on the floor and try to add as many obstacles in the way as possible. Once they smell the presence of the food, they would start working on it and you won’t be able to stop them. They put their all efforts to reach their goal and that is the reason they always succeed. There is a great lesson here for us.
They always save something for the rainy day – throughout summer they keep collecting food for winter because they would be taking rest in winter and not working. Time keeps on changing for every one of us. We should always make good use of the available time and save something for the unpredictable time. Planning for a bad time during good times is always a successful strategy. If we don’t work when there is time then there is no use crying over spilt milk.
During winter, they wait for summer – They don’t always rely on the food that they have saved for winter. They eagerly wait for the summer to come to start working again. We all know that any storage, no matter how big, will come to an end if it is in continuous use. They are well aware of this fact and eagerly wait for the next summer to start working again.
Always deliver 100% - they always put their full efforts in completing a task. That is why they never fail. This is a great lesson for us. Everyone wants to succeed in life, in marriage, in society, in career. For this, we always need to put our best step forward and deliver 100%. That really works.
At the end, here is an interesting suggestion for all of you. Next time you watch some ants, just focus on them for a while and see how they work. I am sure, you will be amazed.