My wife and I have of late been waging a war in our home. We believe we will ultimately win this battle, but we have yet to see the fruit of our efforts. It’s a meticulous, frustrating, and educational process, fighting this kind of war. Our formidable opponent, miniature sugar ants, are some of the most resilient creatures around. After months of experimenting, however, I believe we have finally discovered the method of destruction.
Unfortunately for these sugar ants, their love of sweets will be their downfall. A poisonous yet sweet concoction of liquid borax and sugar is sure to eventually kill any ant which consumes such a mixture. The brilliance of this solution lies in the fact that the ants are extremely attracted to the sugar in the concoction, yet are completely unaware of the deadly borax also present in the concoction. Deadly poison is disguised under the veil of something extremely attractive.
Do not these poor mindless ants seem to be strikingly analogous with people in our modern society today? We collectively worship our senses, and our society’s only desire it seems is one of sensual satisfaction. So we, just like ants, flock to and swarm around sensually attractive pleasures while we choose to remain completely oblivious to the poison contained therein.
Humans are a lot like super-sized ants insofar as we are naturally attracted to sensually pleasing things. Yet there is one main thing that sets apart from any animal, and that of course is the use of reason. Where ants must by instinct flock to sweet yet deadly poison, we rational beings have a choice. We can and must consider the consequences of each and every action we make throughout our entire lives.
The deadly effects of blindly indulging in ones senses is primarily manifested by a darkening of his reasoning powers, followed by a transition to an animal-like state where passions rule. Passions are not an intrinsically bad thing, and are in fact quite good and natural, but they must be controlled by man’s reason. Humans are specially endowed by their Creator with this God-like trait of reasoning, and we must all learn to subject our passions to our reason. That is the essence of being an adult human being.
When one cannot control their passions, they become much like these mindless ants who gladly march to their death. There is good news however, even if you are one those many poor souls being consumed by their passions. If you have the ability to read this article, you have the ability to turn around and march the other direction. There is something far sweeter and infinitely more satisfactory waiting back home for those who decide to do violence to their passions.
“…men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters,” Edmund Burke once commented. Men of temperate minds, however, are truly free, and their well-controlled passions forge their footholds on the steep climb to eternal happiness.