Can You Go Around a Leaf?

Among the greatest innovations over the past few decades – greater perhaps than Pumpkin Spice Latte – are the rise of animated movies that provide lessons for children and adults alike. The movie Toy Story sticks out in my mind as the movie that changed it all. Pixar (now part of Walt Disney) created movies that were fun for kids but also provided great gags that sailed over the heads of the little ones but got a laugh from Mom and Dad.

One of those movies is A Bug’s Life, which gives Aesop’s fable The Ant and the Grasshopper the full Pixar treatment. I have always loved A Bug’s Life because it intersperses profound lessons about hard work and innovation with some hilarious scenes.

The ants in the movie are diligent in their efforts to collect enough food for the grasshoppers, who are bullies demanding ever-greater production from the ant colony (pause here to consider themes of slavery and mafia “protection” rackets). The ants work hard, as ants do, but aren’t particularly innovative – that is, until a self-styled innovator and rugged individualist ant named Flick decides to look at the grasshopper/ant divide through a different lens.

Although Flick isn’t featured in this scene, it represents a hilarious metaphor for those of us who panic when our normal routines are interrupted by the unexpected obstacle. Enjoy….

We often reference this scene in my house when some obstacle confronts one of us – particularly the panicking ant’s assertion that “I don’t think we can do that”.

Leaves fall in front of all of us as we march along through our days. I’ve always loved stories of people thinking their way around an obstacle as opposed the two more common reactions: either 1) repeated attempts to walk through the impenetrable obstacle or 2) panic.

Is there a leaf in the way of your desired path? Consider going around the leaf. I think you can do that.

Good luck!