(10/20) The bitter pill that was social adaptation (acclimiticization) was always delivered with a measure of harshness. And how could it not be? Otherwise it would be no social acclimaticization but merely gentle suggestions or mere nosiness, easily dismissed. No, social promptings were not so easily dismissed or ignored or even taken under advisement. In the ant world, as in no small numbers of human and other animal societies social promptings invariably came in the form of the headsman’s axe. If one was caught out or caught offsides in the slightest way, manner, or degree, it was already over – there was no taken back of offences or making of amends. To transfress was in and of itself a death sentence. And the little ant lived in daily fear of it. He found that among the ants there was no eventual building of fellowship that led to licence in the taking of liberties. One had to be on one’s toes, or the ant equivalent, with every one at all times. He found it exhausting and he had great difficulty in understanding how it could be that everyone else not feel the same.
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