Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Bee or not to Bee

Just finished researching on social behaviors of ants and bees as part of the lesson plan for next week's theme @ our learning centre. All this information is quite new & fascinating for me - teeny weeny insects focus on their roles in the colony and how nature blesses them with just the right physical structure. For instance, the way the hive is structured and the way honey bees organize themselves to ensure survival and sustenance is mind-blowing. And also how insects, through their abilities, then develop unique ways of supporting each other. Take the example of leaf cutter ants. When the worker ants are out there collecting leaves for the whole colony, they are at risk of being attacked by the phorid fly, a parasitic pest which lays eggs into the crevices of the worker ant's head. So the minims (the smallest ants in the colony) often “hitchhike” on leaf fragments to ward of any attack by the parasites. Your own personal body guard as you go about your work - how cool is that?!

So all this research got me thinking - what if people too came with specific structures that dictated what each one is meant to do? What if our bodies got us to focus on specific tasks and only through that connect with others and the community at large? A spot reserved on earth for everyone doing their thing. No conflicts, no politics at work, no one-upmanship. No scurrying like headless roaches tying to figure things out (yeah, that was another thing i researched on!)

But then again, think about it - aren't we too like that little ant or that busy bee? We may not have physical structures geared towards a particular job description in life. But there IS an internal programming that seems to be operating. Maybe not in our bodies but in our psyches. A voice that helps us understand what feels right and what doesn't. Increasingly i hear about people pursuing what appeals to them beyond their educational background or early career choices. Of people giving up everything they do, as if on a whim, to follow a dream. And of others who feel they are stuck in a rut but are asking the right questions to discover their path.

In the culture i grew up in - there were several external factors that determined what you chose as your profession. And early in life, the inner voice is hushed. But going by how i experience a whole of people specially in their 30s - there is hope. For the psyche finds a way to push through the responsibilities, job descriptions, politics and performance appraisals, to say out loud what it needs to. It can come to you in a book you read or a conversation with a friend or a mystical dream that lingers on or just tuning into yourself in your quiet time. And without any clear logic or discussion, our entire being seems to respond to an idea, a thought - "yes this is me!" or atleast what i meant to be! And going by personal experience - when we march in step with this inner voice, life does not get any easy, but it sure does get a whole lot meaningful!

So like those little bees, its nice to heed to the waggle dance your psyche does to direct you to whatever you are meant to be. Go on - ask the right questions, pause & listen, take that one tiny step - and viola, see the magic unfold!


Neelakantan said...

Mid Life Crisis.

I is really worried nao. A training session is in order, perhaps :)

Anonymous said...

Well put! One part of me is intrigued by the social computing aspect of bee social behavior, and the other part totally empathizes the mid life crisis part!