Off topic: Ants and Bees - A Metaphor
Thread poster: María Eugenia Wachtendorff

María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:56
English to Spanish
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Sep 23, 2006

Hi, dear all!

I am quoting this because this is what I feel our community should be like.

What do you think?


PARTS OF THE ONE

Ants And Bees, A Metaphor
When we see ants and bees out in the world, we often see just one, but this belies the reality of their situation. More than any other species, ants and bees function as parts of a whole. They cannot and do not survive as individuals; they survive as members of a group, and the group's survival is the implicit goal of each individual's life. There is no concept of life outside the group, so even to use the word individual is somewhat misleading. Often, humans, on the other hand, strongly value individuality and often negatively associate ants and bees with a lack of independence. And yet, if we look closer at these amazing creatures, we can learn valuable lessons about how much we can achieve when we band together with others to work for a higher purpose.

Most ants and bees have highly specified roles within their communities, some of which are biologically dictated, and they work within the confines of their roles without complaint, never wishing to be something other than what they are. In this way, they symbolize self-knowledge and humility. They also display selfless service as they work for the common good. In many ways, they are like the individual cells of one body, living and dying as necessary to preserve the integrity of the whole body, not to protect themselves as individuals. In this way, ants personify the ability to see beyond one's small self to one's place within the greater whole, and the ability to serve this whole selflessly.

Ants and bees can inspire us to fully own what we have to offer and to put it to use in the pursuit of a goal that will benefit all of humanity, whether it be raising consciousness about the environment, feeding the hungry, or raising a happy child. Each one of us has certain talents we were born with, as well as skills we have acquired. When we apply these gifts, knowing that we are one part of a greater organism working to better the whole world, we honor and implement the wisdom of ants and bees.

Source: today@dailyom.com


[Edited at 2006-09-23 00:16]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:56
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Best Effort Sep 23, 2006

Like all living organisms, we as humans must live in a society in order to subsist, that is a given.

But unlike the ants and the bees, in order to subsist, we also must assert our own individuality. For me that is what makes us different and makes us great.

Reconciling those two facets of our being has not been an easy task and one that will surely never be resolved to the satisfaction of all.

All we can do is to make our best effort.


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:56
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I absolutely agree with you, dear Henry! Sep 23, 2006

...unlike the ants and the bees, in order to subsist, we also must assert our own individuality. For me that is what makes us different and makes us great.


What came to my mind while reading this metaphore was Proz.com as a whole. I feel we are -or should be- working like ants with the purpose of strengthening our profession as such, and creating a fair global market for ourselves.

To me, the members of a sound community work together towards figuring, building, and improving resources by sharing individual experiences and generously contributing to the well-being of the whole. Certainly, this takes much more than a natural predisposition like that of ants and bees. That's the essence of the metaphore!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
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Surely Sep 23, 2006

Surely that is what sets us apart, we have intelligence and as much as we must live in the world of others, we must also live in our own world, and yet be generous in inviting others to share it as they wish.

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xxxPaul Roige
Spain
Local time: 10:56
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Patience, trust Sep 23, 2006

It takes patience too. Rome was not built in one day (but it took half to destroy it).
For patience, we need trust. Patience and trust are the solid foundations of any decent society. It will never be absolutely perfect but, without that, no anthill, and no honey... not nice.
Good on ye, María Eugenia!


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
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I'd never wish to live as an ant or bee Sep 23, 2006

As far as I know, they show no compassion in their behaviour. They let die the old and ill and have no social notion apart from keeping the biological machinery they depend on going.

Whoever is no longer able to contribute is left to die.

With the freedom to act as an individual comes the freedom to harm or help others.

I prefer this ability to being part of a well-functioning but merciless society.



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xxxPaul Roige
Spain
Local time: 10:56
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True indeed Sep 23, 2006

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:

As far as I know, they show no compassion in their behaviour. They let die the old and ill and have no social notion apart from keeping the biological machinery they depend on going.

Whoever is no longer able to contribute is left to die.

With the freedom to act as an individual comes the freedom to harm or help others.

I prefer this ability to being part of a well-functioning but merciless society.




... yet the metaphor stands. Not willing to become bugs just yet, even though they may be the only survivors in the event of a cataclysm!

[Editado a las 2006-09-23 14:02]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
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They are murderous, too Sep 23, 2006

When the bee princesses become adult, the workers carry them to meet each other and they commence a fierce and deadly fight.

In case one of them survives to become a queen, the workers simply eat any existing surplus princess babies (without their consent).

Now imagine humans to follow their example..

I hope they can at least have dreams as nice as our ones.


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
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Yes, the metaphor stands all right. Sep 23, 2006

In my opinion, the difference of human beings with the little bugs (and the big ones as well) is self-awareness, as Henry said, something that should be an asset but sometimes isn't.

On the bright side, self-awareness is like saying "I know I am, I know who and what I am, I know what I can/want to give and receive", and thus we become a prodigal member to mankind.

On the not so bright side, that self-awareness sometimes makes us feel we need to stand out, to pursue appreciation and recognition.

It is hard for us, human beings to admit we are part of a whole (whatever sense you want to give to this "whole", whether a community, a species, whatever). It is like a blow to our well-nurtured ego.

In short, it seems one has to come to terms with oneself first to be able to come to terms with our neighbor. The real feat, isn't it?

Anyway, and as a very useless information (I love useless data), I have recently learnt that honey is the only organic product that remains in time without being corrupted or altered.

Happy weekend and thanks MEW!
Claudia


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
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There are two sides to every coin Sep 23, 2006

Harry Bornemann wrote:

When the bee princesses become adult, the workers carry them to meet each other and they commence a fierce and deadly fight.

In case one of them survives to become a queen, the workers simply eat any existing surplus princess babies (without their consent).


Yes, Harry. Ants and bees can kill even a human being. My own daughter is so allergic to their stings she has to wear a medic allergic bracelet! But that's another story.

Claudia Bagnardi wrote:

On the not so bright side, that self-awareness sometimes makes us feel we need to stand out, to pursue appreciation and recognition.

It is hard for us, human beings to admit we are part of a whole (whatever sense you want to give to this "whole", whether a community, a species, whatever). It is like a blow to our well-nurtured ego.



You are soo right, my dear Clod!

My utopia (ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects) is a community of translators where professionalism is a must, honesty is compulsory, genuine generosity is a fundamental requirement, and each member has a deep sense of belonging.

That's how we feel when we post a Kudoz question, for example. We know for sure that more than one pair of friendly hands will come to our rescue!


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
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Speak for yourself Sep 23, 2006



It is hard for us, human beings to admit we are part of a whole (whatever sense you want to give to this "whole", whether a community, a species, whatever). It is like a blow to our well-nurtured ego.



Is this hard for you? I think it is a very nice thought and do not have the slightest trouble with it. Maybe I should work on my ego ...


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claudia bagnardi  Identity Verified
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A finding of psychological research Sep 24, 2006

Good for you, Claudia!

Yet, there seems to be an ego prone to be fussy in every human being.

Just as Freud said in his theory of the three major blows to the ego of human beings: First it was Copernicus, who dislodged us from the center of the cosmos. Then came Darwin who tipped us down from the pinnacle of divine creation by revealing our evolutionary continuity with the animal kingdom. And last, but not least, Freud himself who said that "the ego is not even master in his own house" clearly referring to the subconscious.

Why would these discoveries have to be considered as "blows" to the ego if we didn't have one to deal with?

Nice Sunday to all
Claudia


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
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Individuality Sep 24, 2006

That's the point! Unlike insects or any other animal species, we are competitive. Competitiveness, as most personality traits, is a good thing, provided...


I see this thread has not attracted as much attention as I expected... I do hope Monday will bring in other views and thoughts.


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