03 April 2015

Did you note the termites dear rebel?

This is the twenty sixth in a series of articles on rebels and rebellion written for the FREE section of 'The Nation'. Scroll to the end for other articles in this series.  'FREE' is dedicated to youth and youthfulness.

You’ve seen them.  They are not related to ants but are also called ‘white ants’.   They are tiny creatures.  They feed on dead plant material such as wood.  Taken individually, they look quite inconsequential.  Leave them alone for a period of time and they can bring down entire buildings.

The problem for termites is that people don’t usually leave them alone.  They are terminated or rather their termination is sought through the application of pesticides.  If someone notices a bunch of termites building an anthill, anthill and inhabitants are swept away. 

On the plus side, termites are resourceful and resilient creatures.    They’ve been around at least since the Cretaceous or the last period of the Mesozoic Era. That counts for 66 to 144 million years of existence.  Makes one wonder.  And makes one kind of understand why then keep turning up almost as if they were waiting for you to turn the other way to get back to whatever it was they were doing until you stopped them. 

I suppose when you are that small you can get a lot done unnoticed.  On the other hand must of what termites do escape the eye for reasons other than their size.  It happens underground.  It happens up in the rafters.  If you are negligent your roof might come down on you.

There’s a lesson here for the rebel.  Several lessons.  You can’t really hide but you can escape from being noticed.  It’s not about size, it is about being smart about where you are, what people might think you are doing and doing whatever is necessary to go unnoticed.  There are times when you do get noticed and then the consequences can indeed be dire. 

But there’s always an underground and not necessarily in the political sense.  There are always places where the enemy is weak, places the enemy cannot see.  There are holes even in the most sophisticated security system.  

Nothing is impenetrable.  There’s nothing that is fully secure.  Look for the rafters.  Go about gnawing those granite-like beams.  Surreptiously.  It will take time.  Be patient. 

 Other articles in this series