The commercial didn't downplay the effort involved in chasing impossible dreams, but somehow the image in this old song bothered the heck out me. It has a kind of whistling in the dark positive thinking that has caused harm to many people I know and love. Somehow goals that are literally, physically impossible can be magically achieved by rugged individuals bashing their heads against a brick wall only armed with that patented American trait of optimism. I’ve seen this in action and sometimes it can set people up for inevitable frustration and failure. Obviously, anyone with high goals will fail on multiple occasions. Failure can be useful when it leads to retrenching, rethinking and trying another tactic.
But the whole idea of the futile efforts of the lone ant bugged me (pun optional) until I started to think, “Wait a minute. That’s not how ants, and indeed humans, get things done.” Ants are the opposite of go-it-alone, rugged individualists. They could actually move a rubber tree plant if a whole bunch of them got together. That’s why people are freaked out about Army Ants. Do not get in their way folks, they nearly took out Charlton Heston in the 1954 film . The Naked Jungle
Pursuing dreams can make life worthwhile. Even solitary writers like myself can find ways to connect, learn and share resources. People do achieve amazing things, but mainly through hard work, planning and sheer cussed grit. Also joining forces with other people, just like the ants.