|Thou'st Shall Let The Ant Live
The ant crawling around my boot right now does not understand the
present danger. Tired, frustrated and angry I care less whether it
should live or not. It's just an ant. I raise my boot and watch it
climb under the sole. So what if I'm about to extinguish the life of
this ant, would it really matter? The situation right now has its own
special temptations. I might feel better if I stamp on its existence.
‘Hast thou no heart; can'st thou not let this creature live and suffer
whatever it be?' Conscience, I hate it.
The ant dares to climb back on top of my boot. Ignorance is bliss. It
crawls round in circles, seeing the world from a different height. The
ant is not afraid, by its very actions it is telling me: ‘What art thou
afraid of? Can'st thy not find it in your heart to trample me under they
What is the purpose of the ant? What is the purpose of its life?
Its life hangs upon my temperament and association. What
does a young ant look like compared to a geriatric ant? Upon this
thought all my presuppositions about the ant at once fall to the
It's in my nature to let it live. Later tonight I may, accidentally,
extinguish it. Better that than act out my vengeance and anger by
stomping it into the tiled floor.
I let the ant live. What did it matter you may ask. Well, it was a
matter of infinite consequence. I wasn't willingly ready to accept the
burden of knowing I had deliberately stamped my foot on the ant. An
hour earlier it might have been different. My mood, my thought, my
temperament was not what it is now.
The ant seemed friendly enough. I let it climb on my finger; it ran
across the palm of my hand. Finally I let it down on the kitchen table.
What possible harm can such an irrelevance have upon my life? I left
the ant to go his way and go for a shower.
The water hits me hard. When I look down, rinsing my hair, a
hardback beetle is crossing the shower floor. I raise my foot and
stamp down on it, crushing it to death with some ferocity.
I hate beetles in my shower.
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