Insignificant or Life-changing?

Insignificant or Life-changing?

Today we welcome Alessandra Macaluso as our guest author!  Read her thought-provoking article below! Take it away Alessandra!

“Look.” I stood in my backyard, pointing at the ground. While lifting old rocks to make a walkway, we disrupted an ant colony – and colonial anarchy ensued. My husband took notice for a moment, said, “Oh,” then returned to laying rocks. But something about the scene unfolding in front of my eyes captivated me, and for the next thirty minutes I sat watching, hovered over the ants, totally mesmerized. (Just for the record, I’d like to point out here that no marijuana was involved.) I eventually realized that what was happening with the ants wasn’t random; it was organized chaos.

I was aware that ant colonies are very intricate “societies,” and that each ant is incredibly strong and has a purpose – even in crisis, such as the one that we created by simply lifting a rock. I had just never stopped to actually witness any of the above, hence my fascination. Dozens of ants were literally running for their lives, in a highly strategic manner, carrying their babies (eggs) on their backs. And we almost didn’t even notice. It was obvious how small they were, but simultaneously I was reminded of how small we are, too.

Sometimes, individuals in our world don’t intentionally hurt or displace us. They simply make decisions based on wants or needs and, unbeknownst to them, we may suffer consequences. We see this in corporations, but it happens with friends and family, too. Unawareness doesn’t make it right – or wrong. We can only hope that the person who “lifts the rock” takes notice of those underneath it running like hell, no matter how small or insignificant to them, and that they strive to be a little more careful in the future.

A couple of weeks later we were fixing up another rock bed, and my husband (again) lifted a rock – but this time, he saw the ant holes and gently placed it back down. An hour later I went back and watched the ants literally re-build their “wall” between the side of the rock and the ground, working together, carrying tiny pieces of dirt and rocks, plugging the holes made when we lifted it. Did their upheaval affect me personally? No. But upon zooming in, I felt a sense of connection – and awareness. It reminded me that there is so much more going on around us than meets the eye, and even the smallest of decisions can have a heavy impact for another being. We can focus on the negative. Or we can rebuild. We have more in common than we think.

When did something “small” change the way you looked at things? Have you ever been affected by someone who “lifted your rock”?

photo credit: Dino Quinzani

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