There have been lots and lots of tiny ants wandering over my kitchen sink and bench tops lately. I think that they are looking for water as it’s very dry here.
Being not happy with their presence, I usually just wipe them away with a finger. They are so tiny that there isn’t even a mark left after I have killed them. (It’s just one at a time and not an all out slaughter).
My anti-ant action has never cause me any grief; I simply swipe the ants with a finger, hand or dish cloth and never give them (the ants) another thought.
But then one day my husband took an ‘up close and personal’ photograph of some of these little blighters that had congregated around a minuscule drop of honey on the kitchen bench top.
The accompanying photograph is what resulted.
Actually the ants in the picture are of the bigger variety; some are even smaller – and brown in colour.
Anyway, here were ants looking more like miniature cattle drinking at a water hole. Each ant had a head and torso and a delicate, perfectly formed set of six legs. They looked to be quite animal-like.
They didn’t quite exhibit personalities, but, maybe I didn’t really get to know them enough to find out if, indeed they had personalities.
This new view of the tiny ants (each one way smaller than a match head) made me stop and think a bit more about how I was dealing with them; it gave me a new insight into ants and their right to live.
I recalled hearing of the Buddhist attitude to the killing of ants (NOT to) and did a quick search of the topic.
In Buddhism, the first precept is to avoid killing or harming living beings.
And from Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book
A student killed 50 small ants on her balcony, and regretted the act immediately afterward. She wrote to Rinpoche to confess what she had done, and to say she planned to take the Eight Mahayana Precepts one day for each ant she had killed.
Rinpoche wrote her back. “My very dear Marion, Thank you very much for your kind letter. It is amazing what you want to offer back to those ants. It is incredible! The thought to take precepts for each ant would not have come into my head. I am sure all the ants will jump up and down and clap their hands and have a party for you when you finish, wishing for you to receive all happiness…ha ha ha. I put my hands together at my heart thanking you very, very much on behalf of all the ants.”
So, would ‘my’ ants perhaps “……. jump up and down and clap their hands and have a party……?
From the same Lama site, on the topic of mosquitoes:
You should not kill mosquitoes at all. Your body is so big and they are so tiny. If their body was big and yours was tiny, you came to bite them and drink some blood, because you are so hungry, and all you needed was a small amount of blood to eat and drink, but they killed you, how would you feel? It is exactly the same situation. -
See more at: http://www.lamayeshe.com/?sect=article&id=319#sthash.2BnwQFEt.dpuf
I am requesting you on behalf of all mosquitoes, please don’t kill. I will be the voice for all the mosquitoes.
So, there’s a dilemma here.
The more I look at the ant picture, the more I am inclined to worry about whether or not I have the right to kill the little creatures that invades my space.
Oh, no, I can’t possibly let them fly free around me and take their sips of blood wherever and whenever they like.
I have red itchy spots to back me on this one.
As for the ants.........well..............
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.