I had lunch alone the other day. I bought a box of fried vermicelli from the 7-11 below my office and ate it in the tiny room we call a pantry. Eating a RM1.80 meal in a tiny space can be pretty cozy. I got to read the backs of cereal boxes and found out that our large toe is vital to our body as it helps us balance and keeps us from falling. Also, did you know that the fastest muscle in the body is the eye muscle? Anyway, I didn’t know. But I love fun facts.
Then I caught sight of an ant in the sugar jar. It was the only black in the white landscape. The lid was shut and it was all the sugar an ant could take—and more. But it wasn’t enjoying it. It was circling the circumference of the glass jar again and again. When the ant was satisfied with moving horizontally, it traveled vertically. Up and down and up and down again.
I’ve always thought ants loved sugar, but this one certainly looked like it only wanted out. Perhaps it had its share and had enough. Maybe it was having a sugar high. Maybe it thought that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Maybe it wasn’t good to/for the ant. I found myself empathizing with it.
So I opened the lid.
The amazing thing about the ant was not that it escaped, but that it did not (or made any effort to) carry a single sugar crystal out with it. The ant left empty handed and headed towards the unknown, where everything looked like giants. It’s as though the ant thought that it was more dangerous to live in the sugar jar of comfort and abundance than in a strange place without a back-up plan.
And it was probably right.