Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Frantic Ant

January 04th, 2017 by G.

An ant was scurrying busily back to his anthill with some small grain.  “What a waste,” a parrot said as it settled down by him.  “All this effort, and it will all come to nothing when a bull happens to step on your hill and crush it.”

The ant took notice of the parrot’s words and scurried away towards the fence.  “Even worse!” the parrot called.  “There are even  more animals in that pasture over there!”

But the ant was not headed to the other pasture.  The ant had stopped at the fence and was scouting for locations for a new hill under the fence itself.  “Even worse!” the parrot called.  “Birds that pray on ants will perch above you on the railing, and the  uncropped grass that grows underneath the fence will block your view of them.  You will be devoured!”  The ant then looked for a barer patch under the fence, but the parrot told him it was only bare because a rivulet sometimes flowed through it during rains, which would drown the hill.  When the ant found a different spot that was bare of grass due to rocks, the parrot warned the ant that the rocks would surely absorb the heat of the sun and bake the ant.

“I was foolish to listen to you,” the ant replied.  “Your warnings reflect no considered judgment.  I will return to my hill, reflect on what is to be done, and do what I can.  Apart from that, I will be merry, because frantic fretting will do nothing to ward off disaster.”


Moral: Spend your worry frugally.

Comments (7)
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January 04th, 2017 09:02:24

January 4, 2017

There is no point in worrying about problems that little or nothing can be done about. Especially today, when worry or fear is a major tool in the hands of the clerisy.

The trick is knowing when there is little or nothing to be done. The media often give the game away by proposing no solution, or else by proposing solutions that have nothing to do with the hysteria they are trying to whip up (on gun control, for example). At the same time, it is all too easy to decide that nothing can be done about a problem when there is much to do, but what ought to be done is too wrenching or taboo to contemplate. There is no substitute for wisdom and judgment.

January 4, 2017

My biggest complaint about academia is that it considers itself in the business of replacing wisdom and judgement with what amounts to computer algorithms.

January 4, 2017

But by the time the ant realized that there was no perfect solution, the ant had wasted valuable time and starved the colony, having heeded a parrot who had no actual interest in the ant’s success.

Bruce Charlton
January 4, 2017

It is a fairly recent insight on my behalf that inducing generalised fear is probably the main weapon of the enemy.

The great things about fear is that it tends to spread, and lead to all sorts of other things the enemy wants. It is also easily disguised, as in your parable, as concern, realism or whatever.

Of course, there is a danger that fear may provoke virtues such as courage; which is why the process is slow, nebulous, pervasive etc. – until fear is existential.

Plus – all this depends upon the widespread secualrism, such that the modern West is probably more vulnerable to endemic fear, more helpless, than any previous society. For us – the only ‘escape’ is suicide (or the temporary suicide of intoxication), which is also feared…

January 4, 2017

I’m not sure if I remember these phrases correctly…

“Paralysis by analysis.” And “Death by indecision.”

Professor Lockhart
January 5, 2017

Bruce makes a good point about fear. The scriptures have our answers.

If you are prepared you shall not fear.
A perfect love casteth out fear.

For those that have fear, it can seen as insufficient faith (which is even in the best of us all from time to time). For that the answer is again from the scriptures:
Exercise your faith unto repentance [by] call[ing] upon his holy name.

January 5, 2017

Excellent comments.

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