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Pragmatic, reserved and a deep thinker who loves family, sports especially football where am married to two wives: the first, AC Milan who has my loyalty and the second wife, Manchester United who has all my undying love and pampering, lifestyle and society parties. Need I say the law is more than a profession but a lifestyle for me.

Adekanye Adeyinka Olajide.

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You are here: Home / IN POVERTY? WATCH THE TERMITE!

IN POVERTY? WATCH THE TERMITE!

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I have been giving myself to too many thoughts of late. They are not the thoughts of acquisition of Hush puppies shoes, Movado wristwatch – I have not even worn one on my wrist for almost a decade; for I do not have a flare for watches, slim fitted pencil pants – that is more appropriate for boys with skinny long legs like the bamboo tree and especially lacking any protruding ass. Neither have they been bothered on the latest movies nor the hottest places in town – am more inclined to finding peace in the comfort of my home; although all these thoughts randomly have climbed into my mind as a thief in the night.

The thoughts I have dwelled on and that has feasted on my reasoning so deeply like a leach does its host are those of the rising disharmony among mankind, the rapid fall of rooted family integration and more keenly the skyrocketing trend of poverty while also dwelling on ways to find happiness and fulfilment by living a satisfying life. This led me to finding recourse in the Bible and I came across proverbs 6:6-8 ‘go to the ant, thou sluggard consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.’ I pondered hard on these verses and an example of an ant that comes to mind is the classic termite; I decided to research on it and a lot came to mind in the process, which I will be sharing today.

Termites Like ants, and some bees and wasps – divide labour among castes, produce overlapping generations, and take care of young collectively. Termites mostly feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung, and about 10% of the estimated 4,000 species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops, or plantation forests.

As asocial insects, termites live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million individuals. Colonies use decentralised, self-organised systems of activity guided by swarm intelligence, which exploit food sources and environments unavailable to any single insect acting alone. A typical colony contains nymphs (semi mature young), workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both sexes, sometimes containing several egg-laying queens.

Upon careful study of the life of termites, it is obvious that they cannot fall into poverty. They live a structured life, build an edifice with intricate brilliance knowing each other’s role and duty and following it to the letter yet lack a guide or ruler. The queen lays between 20,000 – 30,000 eggs daily and has just a lifetime partner despite her life spanning at least 45 years. The most intriguing thing is every one protects the queen, as she is the source of life of the effective running of that colony. Whereas, human on the other hand enjoy frivolities, can hardly save for the rainy days, will almost not be faithful to a partner thus expending more on many sources that drain and we always want to have a little rest too often.

In addition, the termites feed each other. This is not the primary function of the queen as workers does it also, which is a major reason for the colony’s success as it frees the parents from feeding all, other than the first generation of offspring! This is a strong trait of sharing, giving, and responsibility. Most human are stingy. Stinginess is a major cause of poverty as highlighted in the Bible proverbs 11:24…and there is that withholds more than is needed, but it leads to poverty.

Another main reason why many has fallen into poverty is because aids are usually withheld from the needy proverbs 28:22 he that hastens to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come upon him. A termite on the other hand, transfers the art of sharing and openness without being covetous from generations to generations.

The human once in an advantageous position, often uses such gain to oppress the needy. Hence the rule ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.’ The Bible frowns on this ideology. Proverbs 22:16 he that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want. Termites for the good of all, store food for the rainy season when they will not be able to carry out their search and be it workers, soldiers or the queen all are equal only saddled with different responsibility.

As human, we are too lazy, procrastinate, and always put up actions that deserve urgent attendance, a little delay than necessary. Our people say lazy people sleep until the late hours of the morning claiming they did not hear the cockcrow. Proverbs 20:13 admonishes love not sleep else, you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread. Termites work round the clock ensuring the smooth running of their colony and efficiently carrying out ascribed duties.

Another bane of the cause of poverty for human is being too slow in action. Proverbs 13:14 the law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. To prosper, one must not hesitate in doing the right things. One of the major attributes of a wise man is wisdom to be able to operate on certain precepts of life and abiding by the laws of life. As termites, we should imbibe prompt and immediate response to matters around us that can shape a positive life out.

A man surely comes to poverty when he refuses to work. Proverbs 10:4-5 he becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He that gathers in the summer is a wise son: but he that sleeps in harvest is a son that causes shame. Also proverbs 21:25-26 states that the desire of the slothful kills him for his hands refuse to work. He covets greedily all day long: but the righteous gives and spares not. To give credence to this, a Yoruba adage says one, who refuses to work in his youth, will work when he is grey, and tired and weak.  A termite never refuses to work. Actually, ants are constantly saddles with all kind of duties.

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We can see in proverbs 6:10 yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall your poverty come as one that travels, and your want as an armed rubber. In proverbs, 19:15 slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. Termites do not sleep. At least none can say how and when they do.

The love of pleasure is a way of falling into poverty. It is necessary to enjoy after ones hard labour and to reap the fruits of such. However, when the love of pleasure is what guides one, then poverty knocks. Proverbs 21:17 he that loves pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loves wine and oil shall not be rich. Termites delight solely in their work and the protection of their colony. The love of pleasure relegated in them because we see that they store food for tomorrow rather than consume all at once.

Rapaciousness brings one to poverty. When all that is at the heart of man is eating and drinking excessively and it is one of the seven deadly sins in Christian tradition. This is entrenched in proverbs 23:20-21 be not among winebibbers; among righteous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Need I stress that termites never eat excessively.

On a final note, I will like to add that some thoughts that have filled my heart and head like a house engulfed by smoke have made me realise that poverty, which is the main challenge of humanity, is a phenomenon that can be shed like a snake does its skin. If only we can study the ways of the ant and put our head on God’s chest by meditating endlessly on his words and imbibing a life under his rules and sure guidance.

ADEKANYE ADEYINKA OLAJIDE.