If Humans Were Ants

In the last few weeks I intended to write two articles for the Damn Optimist:

  1. The future of in-person acute healthcare in a post-COVID world

  2. A look at the protests from the perspective of an immigrant from Eastern Europe

What I ended up with instead — and I am not quite sure how — is a list of things humans do that would seem really peculiar if they were done by ants.

Like, what if they:

  1. Put the names of wealthy dead ants on park benches

  2. Didn’t eat pork to avoid upsetting some cosmic creator, in fear of lowering it’s odds of a fulfilling, milk-river-filled afterlife

  3. Chose its food based on how photogenic it is

  4. Designed its life to appear fulfilling to other ants, believing strangely in the equivalence of looking fulfilled and being fulfilled

  5. Created fake follower ants that followed a real ant around and liked whatever it said, bestowing it the appearance of influence, which the real ant could exchange for both earthly goodies and a temporary boost of self-assurance 

  6. Imprisoned ants found carrying the wrong types of leaves or mushrooms

  7. Actively promoted the drinking of a flammable liquid known to lead to long-term health issues, injuries, sexual assault, domestic abuse, death and addiction

  8. Took to the streets of ant colonies demanding an end to institutional discrimination and wanton use of force of another group of ants who, denying the claims of the protestors, responded with institutional discrimination and wanton use of force

  9. Started mornings by standing in line for roasted beans in liquid form to get through the day

  10. Worried so much about themselves that they saw other ants only as objects that either brought them closer or further away from an elusive goal post that promised to bring with it eternal happiness and salvation

  11. Refused to extend any compassion or understanding to ants whose talking points did not perfectly match those delivered by the correct group of ants whose job it was to communicate talking points

  12. Made appointments with other ants to do things like talk or work or play, but with a weirdly specific rule that it must be at a time ending in :00 or :30

  13. Laid down in a field with another ant and stared at the stars. Gingerly extended one limb to hold the other’s. Absorbed the silence.

Wouldn’t that be weird?