One summer’s day, a grasshopper was enjoying the beautify day. He hopped about the fields and hills, singing and chirping to his heart’s content.
Not long into the day an ant passed by his way, busy at work gathering food. Seeing the ant hard at work, the grasshopper implored the ant to come and play with him instead of working. The ant replied that he needed to help store up food as winter was getting closer and encouraged the grasshopper to do the same.
The grasshopper, however, was enthralled with the perfection of the day, and having all he needed at present ignored the advice of the ant. The ant continued on with his work while the grasshopper continued on frolicking.
When winter arrived, the grasshopper became hungry and found itself dying of hunger when it saw the ants who had worked diligently during the summer. They were distributing corn and grain from the reserves they had collected.
The grasshopper realized, “It is best to prepare for the day of necessity.”
The story of the ant and the grasshopper is a great reminder for us. Oftentimes we consider ourselves to be the ant, as one who plans and prepares for the future, but more often than not turn out to be the grasshopper. We either fail to make plans thinking we will have time or we simply think about the future and the plans we should make but ultimately fail to follow through.
This is sometimes in the simple things like housework or school work which might not have significant long-term consequences. But, occasionally, we apply this line of thinking to more substantial issues like our relationships, job, finances and future which can have a more profound long-term impact.
Our job in the U.S. Air Force reminds us that we must prepare for what could and will happen. We must be on the offensive like the ant and not simply wait to respond like the grasshopper, because if we aren’t careful, it will be too late.
Let us strive to be proactive in life and not simply reactive, whether in our job, relationships, finances, housework or schoolwork.
A Chinese proverb highlights the same thought, “Dig the well before you are thirsty.”