“Mon Dieu, what are they thinking?”
- Madama Phloozé ™
This is the ant season in my home; mid-to-late summer. If I leave so much as an ort on the counter from making dinner, by the end of the meal there is a conga line already formed to devour it. It’s annoying and I repeatedly brush hundreds of them away with a soft broom but it gets so bad that they will even go into my kitchen sink drain and closed dish washer. It is very dry this time of year and they are in survival mode. I have to keep the open cat food in pans of water so as to keep them out of it. One can use many methods to deter them, divert them, and even annihilate them but in the final analysis, they keep coming.
There is another option. If I keep the kitchen extra clean, they have no reason to arrive. If I clean up and wipe the counters before sitting down to dinner; no ants. If I cover the drain and fully rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher; no ants. I have control over this and then the ants have encouraged me to be fully accountable for the situation.
While doing the dishes tonight I pondered the mess in the Middle East. So much suffering on both sides and then it struck me. They need ants. The stalemate of who is right, and who is suffering more presents a perpetual duality that will never end and the fact remains; children are dying, families are torn apart and the centuries old hatred is cutting so deep how will we ever find our way back?
They need ants. They need full accountability on both sides of what they have control over. Both sides have legitimate anger and both of them are wrong. We so badly want a simplistic duality that there is a right side and a wrong side. What if everybody is wrong to keep demanding they are the victims while not taking responsibility for perpetuating the violence?
Accountability and atonement will break the incessant scenario of blame, and we need an international forum to mediate active listening. Identities have been created around victimhood on both sides and the fundamentalist, ego-driven mindset that insists on perpetuating its own existence on hatred will keep creating this awful suffering.
They need ants. Accountability for their individual contribution. The numbers of dead do not prove who is the bigger victim. Children are dying.
We all play into this paradigm and it is the same mindset behind a deadlocked Congress. Democracy is broken thanks to the belief that there is a right and wrong side. We are more concerned over who wins than taking a deep look at how fragile it all is. Our bridges are crumbling but we spend billions on who will take the Whitehouse.
We all need ants. My ants keep me fully responsible for my contribution to their invasion. They are only responding to nature’s call to be the perfect scavengers. Since we are sharing the earth, it’s my job to act on what I have control over instead of waging war on their instincts. Thank you ants, for being master teachers.
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