Ant society is highly organized: They travel for miles away from their home to find food, but instead of eating it immediately themselves, they bring it all the way back to feed everyone in the colony. When an ant dies, the others lift it up and carry it back to a designated area for the dead, an ant graveyard of sorts. My seventh grade history teacher always said respect for the dead was a fundamental principle for any civilization. Ants even have pets; they’ve “domesticated” aphids, who help with plant growth.
Smush. Oops, we’ve stepped on a few. But some other ants are going to lift the dead guys up and carry them home.
It’s interesting how we consider ourselves so superior to animals, when we act very much like animals most of the time. Sure, we’ve got the whole evolution thing down, but think about it. We are born, we search for basic needs (food and shelter), we mate and procreate, we defend our young, we vie for our territory, and then we die. And we’re pretty violent during the cycle. We are no different than the squirrels, who hoard acorns and live defending their notch in the tree.
I could learn some things from the ants, and the squirrels. To share my earnings of the day instead of keeping such trinkets all to myself. To simply consider my fellow species. Sitting, breathing the trees’ exhalations, feeling the sunray’s wavelengths permeate my cells, I feel very much connected to the other living creatures we share this space with. A fire ant crosses my bare foot. It’s a beautiful day.