It was early in the morning. With squinted eyes and a lopsided gait, I entered to do the most daunting task of the day — taking a shower. As I scanned around the room for any creatures that might have visited the previous night, I noticed an ant. Just one unassuming ant, taking a stroll on the floor of my bathroom. The ant was not aware of the five-foot visitor that had just entered the room.
It occurred to me that if I turn on the shower, then the ant is running on borrowed time. Sooner or later, it will be lifeless on the floor. So, I decided that I am going to save the life of this creature.
I vehemently tried to push it away out of the room. I chased it, shoved it lightly with a mop, blew on it and basically tried every way that I could possibly conjure up in my head, but to no avail. The ant was panicking and it was running around hither and thither, unable to register the direction that I was coaxing it.
I became a threat, rather than a saviour.
After a wild goose chase that lasted a couple of minutes, the ant suddenly realised that it could climb up the wall to save its life. Once it did, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, I can get the goddamn shower out of the way.
As all great thinkers do, I was pondering about this incident whilst in the shower. I got into the tiny shoes of the ant and thought about the whole incident from it’s perspective.
The ant must have thought, “I was just minding my own business, why did I deserve to be attacked like that out of nowhere. Why me?” It failed to realise that the momentary challenge it faced was not a threat but an opportunity to avoid a greater danger. If the ant wasn’t pushed the way it was, it would still be stuck on the floor, it would even be dead. It would not realise that there are higher planes to be reached and that it had the potential to do so.
This story applies to us, humans, as well. We see challenges as threats, because we are only able to view it in it’s current disposition. We are unable to view the bigger picture.
The momentary challenges we face, sprung upon us from nowhere, are just opportunities orchestrated by the universe to push us out of our comfort zone and realise our true potential. They may not be a threat, but rather a window of opportunity in order to avoid a greater danger.
I had read somewhere this beautiful quote, “The universe will never give you anything that you cannot handle”. So, remember the ant and it’s naive ignorance when you need inspiration to look at the bigger picture. Cast away the fear, hold the challenge by its bullhorns and ride away to glory.