Are there any similarities between ants and humans? I believe so, so I researched a little to understand these similarities. For instance, the acrobat ants prefers sugary sweets and meat. I must mention here my favorite candy as a child was Now & Later. Although, there were never any for later, so maybe they should be called Now? Another item I found interesting a colony in Africa, according to Mark Moffett, communicates as they travel:
…societies accelerate as groups get bigger. Why is that? Well, you have more to gain moving fast in a big city like New York. In a small town, you know who you’re going to see at the coffee shop. You know the coordinates of your day and what’s going to happen. In big cities all kinds of crazy things can happen. You can see an art gallery; you can bump into an ant expert. Whatever it is, there’s a lot to be gained with type-A behavior.
So that causes people to accelerate is what’s been discovered for humans. It seems to be the same with ants. The bigger societies—like this acrobat ant colony here in Africa—there are individuals flowing past each other all the time and they actually are taking in information about what all the other ants are doing as they pass by. So, an ant might discover that a lot of workers are out there collecting food and maybe not enough are taking out the trash. And so it may decide what to do that day based on this information. And how the information flowing through the colony really accelerates the bigger the society is, both for ants and for humans.
I think it’s interesting to note how active ants are. Maybe there’s some truth to what our parents told us about eating too much candy. I visualize ants traveling and communicating to a marching band. I recently saw an ads on TV, I do not recall the product, but in the commercial the marching band formed a dinosaur on the field. I have to say, that was amazing. On the field the marching band looks very similar to watching ants travel. The way they pass each other nearly bumping into one another is as close to perfection as possible, for a structured individual.
As child I remember being very active. When Tyrone, my older brother and I got our BMX bikes we thought we were invincible. We had three huge trees in our back yard. We pretended we were riding from state to state to participate in wheelie popping competitions; along with our cousin Alvin. We set up ramps to see who could jump the highest, long before “The Birdman” Tony Hawk had video games. Bike riding was our passion. Not a day went by, unless we were in trouble that we were not outside on our bikes. I think we rarely got into trouble, due in part to staying outside; so none of my mother’s collectible got broken. Except for that time one of us, who will remain nameless, fell through the center glass of her coffee table.
Although my dad was, and still is, a big wrestling fan. When I say wrestling I mean “Hulk Hogan”, The Von Erichs, the IV Horsemen, Ernie “The Cat” Ladd, Kamala (to name a few). Either you know these fellows or you don’t I am not going to explain. What kid did not try to imitate the things they saw these fellows doing. I was put in the claw and the figure four leg lock more times than I’d like to remember. I can even remember being put in the sleeper hold at school. I love the disclaimer wrestling has now…children please do not try this at home. It’s funny because they make it look so fun. Our thing was jumping off of beds, cars, trees, etc. My little sister LaShonda is one tough cookie today because she received most of these high flying acts of craziness. It was so much fun and luckily we were not seriously injured; just minor sprains from time to time.
Growing up our favorite activity, next to Tecmo Bowl was sports. We loved basketball, football, track, baseball you name it. I played on a little league T-ball team as a child. I was so skinny and fast as lightning. I remember one day we were debating in a combined class of fifth and fourth graders, who could run the fastest. The fourth graders, my classmates all said I was the fastest person in the class. Of course, the older kids thought they were faster. So our teacher Mr. Byrd took both classes out on the field to see who was the fastest. Sure enough the fourth graders were right. I beat both classes. To quote All in the Family “Those were here the days”. We played basketball every chance we got. My brother very courageously climbed into the tallest tree we had, with a goal and backboard in hand and proceeded to create the best toy we owned ever. We played pickup games with all the neighborhood kids. I always felt I was NBA material, but did not go that route. I’m five foot seven, so Spud Webb was an inspiration, I figured if he could do it so could I. In college, I would play basketball for hours to relieve stress. It was a passion, as well as therapeutic, but not something I pursued. As I wrote in my high school essay I wanted to be remembered for my intellectual abilities, as opposed to my physical abilities.
Just like humans, ants have an instinct to protect. They communicate with a chemical to alert each other when danger is present. My parents were what I call overprotective. Although, they saved my siblings and me from a life of whatever, by continually keeping us on a religious path. They ruled with a leather belt, they both used when needed. I appreciate the time they took to give us a good start in life. After all, that is the chief responsibility of a parent to make sure their children get a good start in life. After you leave their home, how you live your life is still a reflection on your parents, but in the end you are responsible for your actions. Their role now is to watch from a distance. Not much got by them when it came to me. I guess I have my older siblings to thank for that. My dad is what I consider a Man’s man. He loves his daughter’s, but you could hear the pride in his voice when he talked about his boys. Of course, his youngest boy me; was a momma’s boy. I loved to watch her cook and iron. Although, I didn’t like to watch her clean because she would let me participate. My attention to detail, I think I learned from her. She it seemed effortlessly; washed and ironed the clothes of five kids and my dad’s uniforms, for hours without missing a beat. She prepared meals to perfection from memory. I think my mother ruined fast food for me, by being such a good cook. She kept our house spotless. I would not say we were the typical African American family, but if there were an in-between from the Huxtables (Cosby Show) and the Evans (Good Times) we were it.
After raising five kids and keeping kids around the neighborhood for years, my mom decided she wanted to enter the workforce. My parents married in their late teens. We watched them sacrifice so much for our happiness. If you were to ask them, they missed out on nothing. Wow, I think being from the technology age makes it hard for me to understand this concept. Or maybe it’s just me. My dad, I always considered him to be the Enforcer. Whenever my mother wanted to get her point across the key phrase was, I’m going to tell your daddy. He was like a teddy bear on the inside, but on the outside Papa bear. He didn’t play, when it came to following the rules set forth by them. He was a loving father who always took the time to show us the importance of family. By this I mean he loved to play board games, card games, and just have fun as a family from time to time. My dad is an expert Domino player. He can tell you what to play from your hand and say it as if you have no choice. So I know I get my competitive spirit from him. One thing I can say about my parents, I have never met anyone as committed to their children as these two individuals. The perfect models for me being as small as an ant in this gigantic world.
Can structure and activities increase familial bond? Yes, No or Maybe?
- Yes, I think so
- I'm on the fence
- No, the two items are not related
- I didn't have those and I turned out fine