Moving the rubber tree plant: a lone ant’s struggle …

“Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

“High Hopes” 1959 – sung by Frank Sinatra

Yesterday, Poe and I went for our early morning walk, and we encountered two, slimy, dead worms on the sidewalk. Gross. Poe’s first inclination was to sniff, because that’s what dogs do. Instead, we both walked around until I noticed the hundreds—no probably thousands—of ants underneath both worms, moving them toward the grass.

I stopped to watch the collaborative effort for a minute, and it reminded me of the song, “High Hopes,” and the single ant’s plight to move a rubber tree plant. Actually, the ant needed more than high hopes to move that plant. He needed other ants that would offer teamwork, determination, and strength. He was probably exhausted!

I thought about the ant’s struggle and began to wonder has humanity yet learned to move a rubber tree plant? In some cases, yes.

Through the efforts of so many great organizations, when there’s a call to help others who have suffered from catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, the world typically bans together to clean up and help.

Even current events such as the 2012 Olympics in London show the definite signs of teamwork—starting with the USA Women’s gymnastics team. (You GO girls!)

It’s commendable, but we don’t always have to think on a grand scheme to work together. We can do something in our own worlds.

Here’s an example. There were two rubber tree plants …er um two, rabid raccoon running rampant in our neighborhood. I live in the city, not the country, so raccoons, raiding garbage and recyclables are quite uncommon.

All the dog owners began warning others about the raccoon. But as far as I know, only two people, (my neighbor and I) called the town and asked that they come out and catch them. This went on for a month or so. Everyday, someone new complained. But they had yet to call. It was becoming a pain.

Something must have happened because for the past two months, there have been no raccoon sightings. And I thought if all the dog owners, not just one or two, bombarded city hall with complaints, the problem might have been solved earlier. The rubber tree plant may have stood sooner.

Perhaps it’s a simplistic example, but I believe there’s a larger implication. Is humanity doing all it can collectively and with a team spirit to make the world better?

That’s truly a topic up for discussion. IMHO, we’re getting there, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. Our rubber tree plant is leaning.

This morning, Poe and I walked the same path and spotted the ants once again. This time, where was only one worm on the sidewalk. They’d done it! They moved the worm to the grass, and I was in awe. But there was still one more to go, and I knew they would do it because in addition to high hopes, they had determination and teamwork.

Poe looked up at me, and I glanced at him. We were in agreement. There’s no way that we were going to upset their balance, their world or THEIR rubber tree plant. We walked around.

Go Ants!


4 thoughts on “Moving the rubber tree plant: a lone ant’s struggle …

  1. Joanna Shupe says:

    Great post! And it’s so true. Collectively, people have power they couldn’t even dream to have individually. I love to see social media help rally to someone’s cause, like that poor bus driver who was tortured by the kids.

    • nettrobbens says:

      Joanna, Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I totally agree. Social media is such a powerful force and it really can help make a difference in bringing people together for a cause!


      As a sidebar, Joanna is a contemporary and historical romance writer, and one fourth of a group of fabulous writers who “celebrate their journey in pursuit of publication and writing in an exciting and ever-changing industry.” They also ponder life, books and of course, writing. Check out Joanna’s personal blog, as well as the writing quartet’s blog at

  2. Aaliyah says:

    Would be nice if we could come together more often without having a drastic cause. I say this too with family members who only get together at funerals.

    • nettrobbens says:

      So true! And it’s great that you can also view it in another perspective, which is with family. Thanks, for stopping by and commenting!


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