“If you look at a column of ants on the march you will see that there are some who are stragglers or have lost their way. The column has no time for them; it goes on . . . And all the time the great busyness continues, and that apparent sociability, that rite of meeting and greeting which ants travelling in opposite directions, to and from their nest, perform without fail.
. . .
We were simple men with civilizations but without other homes. Whenever we were allowed to, we did the complicated things we had to do, like the ants. We had the occasional comfort of reward, but in good times or bad we lived with the knowledge that we were expendable . . . and that others would replace us. To us that was the painful part, that others would come at the better time. But we were like the ants; we kept on.”
—from A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul