The kid with the magnifying glass never asks the ant’s permission before burning it.
Why would he? The kid is hundreds of times bigger and stronger than the ant. He can do whatever he pleases with it.
I wish I could say that’s a metaphor for life, but I’d be lying.
See, most kids grow out of their ant-burning phase.
That doesn’t mean they stop killing ants.
Do you ever pay attention to the ground as you walk by to make sure you don’t step on any ants? Of course, you don’t. Why would you? Ants are just ants.
They are beneath us.
There’s the real metaphor.
In general, our culture places a strong value in self-determination. We are the captains of our souls and masters of our fates. People love to think cute little things like that. They find them reassuring.
They are a load of crap.
It is easy to say we are the captains of our souls when the ocean we call life is bright and tame. However, the night will fall, and the storm will rage. When that happens, your tiny little boat will be dragged to the depths, and you will be at the mercy of the monsters living there.
Make no mistake. You will be afraid, and you will cry.
We think we are in control, but we are not. We live at the mercy of giants to whom we are like ants. These giants don’t bother checking the ground to make sure they don’t step on us.
Why would they?
Why would they give us any more thought than we give the ants?
That’d be ridiculous.
My name is Michael Walker, and I have met giants.
I got stepped on.
Before that meeting, I thought I had life figured out. I lived in a small town called Redfield. I went to school like everyone else. I studied… sometimes. I had friends. I had a mother who cared for me and a roof over my head.
I had a life.
Then I didn’t.
This is my story.