Yesterday morning as I was walking into my office I noticed honey bees hovering about a large hibiscus outside the building. It was fascinating to watch them darting from blossom to blossom collecting pollen and never even noticing me. I observed them for nearly fifteen minutes (yes, I have too much free time) and took a couple of photos.
While out for this morning’s walk with my husband I began to think about those honey bees (again, too much free time). I shared initial thoughts with him, received his thoughts and continued to think about these bees for the next several hours (I need to find a hobby).
You see, those bees have brains the size of ear mites, very small, because they don’t have to think about
much. They have a single purpose in life and they are laser focused on completing that task. They collect pollen and take it back to the mother ship for the queen bee. They do their work without thinking, without complaining, without union representation or any thought of reward. They do their work collaboratively with other honey bees, but I doubt they have any awareness of the significance of working together with others. Yet, if anyone or anything attacks the mother ship, the hive, they instinctively and without thought unite to defend it.
I doubt that the bees have any awareness of the secondary results of their efforts. They aren’t thinking about cross pollenating other plants. They aren’t thinking about producing delicious honey. They aren’t thinking about some guy with too much free time dwelling on their life and work. The honey bee simply does its work and that is enough.
There are lots of days lately when I wish I could be like the honey bee. Lots of days when I wish I could just do my work and live my life without any thought or expectation of the results, without any desire to change anyone’s life or make a difference in the world, without any awareness of outcomes beyond the primary task.
But then I’d be a honey bee.