This morning I had to be at Quest Diagnostics at 5:45 am in order to have blood work. See, I just received the script for this new blood work last week and Quest is presently only taking appointments. No walk-ins allowed. Well, the next open appointment was two weeks out and I need to have this blood work done every week, over the course of the next four weeks. Thus, for the next two weeks, until my first scheduled appointment, I have to be at Quest by 5:45 am to take advantage of the no walk-ins allowed exception: Get here at 5:45 am and if you are one of the first ten “walk-ins”, you will get stuck. One may question why Quest has made the no walk-ins allowed rule, when they daily break their very own rule before the crack of dawn? Yet, this guy isn’t complaining.
As I stood in that line, on my brightly colored green square that signified the proper amount of social distancing, I noticed a rather large ant exploring the door frame that was right next to me. As I looked at that ant I thought about where I was, what I was doing and what was happening in our world. I say “our world”, because the world that you and I live in and the world that this ant lives in are two very different things entirely. This ant wasn’t wearing a mask. This ant didn’t care how close he (or she) was to me. This ant, even though I didn’t talk to it to verify this hypothesis, had no idea about COVID-19. This ant was simply going about its day, scouting for whatever it was scouting for, with no regards for me, for the brightly colored green square that I was standing on or the other masked people waiting in the silence of that hallway at 5:45 am.
For a moment I was envious of that ant. When I realized my emotions, I wondered why. I wondered why I was envious of an ant? After all, my life is so much better than that of an ant. Then I thought to myself, is it? Is my life truly better than the life of an ant that was inspecting the door to a storage room in a hallway outside of Quest Diagnostics? The only answer that I could come up with is that, from my perspective, my life was far superior to the life of an ant. Yet, I bet if I could have somehow communicated with that ant, he or she would have informed me that they considered their life, from their perspective, as pretty darn good. Maybe it would be better stated that I hoped that this would be the case. It all comes down to a matter of perspective.
How can an ant, who has no idea what it is like to be human, consider life, as a human, to be superior or inferior to his or her own life? No ant is writing a blog right now about seeing a human, standing on a green square in a hallway, pondering if their life is better or worse in comparison. That is when it hit me. The quality of one’s life is a matter of perspective and perspective is a matter of comparison. If one does not compare, than one does not have a specific perspective, based on said comparison. Thus, one can and will simply live, to the best of their ability, in any given time or place. In that moment, in that hall, on that green square, I realized the secret of that ant’s life. No comparisons allowed. I find myself again, envious of that ant.