Sunday, May 31, 2009

Worker Bee

At the beginning of my run today - oh, wait a minute I am writing about Saturday so I need to stick to tradition. First things first. I started the day at Costco, of course. But I have nothing much to tell you except I bought another Martha Stewart chicken slab pie since they are sooo yummy and we were down to our last pie (1/2 of a package). There weren't even any food samples yet when I went. I did get some nice looking raspberries and the strawberries, despite not being real red, were pretty sweet.

So as I was saying, at the beginning of my run today something fell on the ground in front of me. It was a honeybee and it was laying on its back (lying on its back? I can never remember the proper word) trying to turn over.

I figured this must be an old bee. Old, but still out collecting nectar and then right in the middle, it gets too weak to fly. Bees don't even get to enjoy a retirement; they just keep buzzing around until they can buzz no more.

There are also red ant nests on that particular stretch of my run so as I continued on, I thought about these "social" insects and the lives they lead. Their societies are self-sufficient. Everyone has a job to do and they do it, day in and day out, with no rest for the weary. An ant (or bee) gets hungry - there's food for it to eat. They live in the shelter of a nest or hive constructed by the community. They're programmed to do all this by instinct.

They have no choice.

That's where the communists and socialists get it wrong. They expect people to be like ants and bees, but people can think. They can choose. And the other difference is all the ants and bees are proletariats. There is no ruling class in an ant or bee colony; there is indeed a queen but it is as brainless as a government legislator. All it does is lay eggs and keep the society going.

What if they could think like humans? And could make choices as to what they did?

Do you think they would still be able to maintain the colonies like they do now? You'd have mound or hive potatoes, just sitting around watching insect wrestling. You'd have the formation of classes or castes. Dreams of something better than making tunnels all day. And don't even get me started on what would happen if the ants and bees formed unions.

I think one of the best things we can do for ourselves is have the ability to choose. That's what I used to tell my kids - whatever they do, I want them to be able to choose to do it, rather than be forced to do it. If they wanted to work at a fast food place all their lives, fine, as long as it was their own choice.

I'm not advocating to be so free-form that one lives a life where you do anything you darn well please with no rules like roller derby; what I am saying is that one should strive to live a life in which you choose your environment and the structure that goes along with that particular environment, God willing.

And that's how my mind got from here to there, a segue from seeing a bee on its back to philosophizing about the purpose of life.

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