The ant walked across the ceramic wasteland that is the deck in my backyard. It scurried along, going as fast as it could. I watched as it crawled over a mountainous pebble and continued its journey over the cracked tiles. I looked around to see where this ant was going. About two feet away, there was the carcass of a caterpillar, and hundreds of other ants were already there, unbeknownst to this innocent scout. The scout was laying down a strong scent trail so that the colony could follow and reap the rewards of what it found. I watched as this ant walked close to the other group of ants, and was mobbed by a group of larger ants, soldiers. They tore each of his limbs off, dissected him and brought him to their colony. This scout had sacrificed its life for the good of the colony. In approximately ten minutes, there was a full-scale war happening on my deck.

Ants from the scout’s colony were mercilessly ripping the limbs off of the enemy. I watched soldiers locked in stances of death, grappling with their powerful mandibles, like jaws of steel. These ants had no fear of death, whatever they did was for the colony, for the queen. Watching this battle rage on, I wondered why the ants did not just run and find some other food. But then I remembered just how ants are. The lived, worked, and died for the colony. They seemed as {mindless|machines], never weary, with extraordinary strength, and the uncannyability to find their way to food wherever it may lie. But along with this, they are merciless warriors. They will crush and destroy to expand their colony, for food, no matter the odds, no matter how futile or meaningless it may seem. It seems they do it just to show their superiority, to show that they can. I couldn’t take my eyes off this battle. It was amazing. As I watched these ants mindlessly kill each other, I wondered if they had any individuality. But no, they have no identity, they merely have a ranking. I left for a few hours, and when I returned, the battle was over. There were many corpses, these being carried away by other workers. I sat on my bench, realizing something. Are not humans like ants in some ways? Just a little bigger, that’s all. We also get into wars for no good reason, other than to show that we are superior, and that we can conquer the enemy at the expense of human lives. When people join the military, they are stripped of their individuality, given a rank, and often sent to war. We battle with our own species to claim more land and food, all for the benefit of the government, or country. We as humans are also merciless, able to stand and shoot someone without blinking an eye. It made me wonder if we are any better than the insects we walk on day after day. I realized that instead of becoming the much sought after perfect beings, angels, we were becoming more like the insects. We are at an in between point, yet I wondered that with our static set of morals, whether we should step back from being the masters of the earth before we become as killing machines, little more than just another pest on the planet.

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