"We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live.
The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on"- We Are The Ants By: Shaun David Hutchinson
When I first watched The Office I thought to myself "Why are people so interested in this?" My friend persisted I keep watching the show, so I did. It took a long time but I fell in love with these characters. These people that almost played no role to the universe whatsoever. As I watched I picked up on some deep metaphors and well constructed plots that were just too good to not think about. Much like the picture above. In this picture Jim and Pam are at Niagara Falls on the day of their wedding. I was so captivated by this episode that it was mind boggling. I wanted to know why I liked this so much. I needed to know what grabbed at my heart as these characters went through hard times. And then I stumbled upon the book We Are The Ants. The main idea about this book (besides being captured by creepy aliens) is that the universe is ginormous and we play a very small role, if any, in it. Throughout this story, Henry Denton questions the existence of humans and life itself. He thinks about what he really means to the world and he can't find a good reason to keep living. Near the end of the book he finally realizes that his impact on the universe is literally little to nothing. But he also decides to live. Henry says this at the end of the book: "We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on." This correlates to the show in many ways such as pursuing happiness and being a small fish in a big pond. I hope you enjoy my reasoning.
The first way that this quote summarizes The Office is because every single character in this show wrote their own life. The two main focuses I will partake in describing is Jim and Pam. These characters were such a focal point on this show and it definitely was worth watching. But I had never thought to myself why their relationship was so intriguing. After connecting We Are The Ants to this show I figured out why they were such an attention grabber. The reason was because they didn't care about being small people to the universe. They focused on themselves and found a deep and true love between them. They were the "ants" so to speak because they were small people. They worked at a boring paper company in a small branch, it just didn't make sense that anything interesting was going on. Jim and Pam figured out that they had a long life ahead of them, and while nobody knew who they were, they still wanted to write a life that was so unique and honest that they didn't have to have anybody else. Comparing them to the main idea of the book, Henry knew he wasn't going to have an impact on the universe. He knew that ultimately he would be a distant memory. He went through phases in this story that lead to his happiness and through this I can say that The Office and We Are The Ants are very similar. They both had the idea of being a small impact on the world. But they also both held a meaning that these small seemingly boring people can be happy and interesting. That's why I believe that not everybody should be sad that they are going to die and that nobody is going to remember them. In fact, I believe they should be happy about it. I say this because most people become overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of death. But why should they be remembered for how they died? They should be remembered for what they did while they were alive because that was when they had the choice to become happy and had the chance to make other people happy as well. So yes, we may not have a choice on how we die but we have a choice about what we do when we are alive. That is why I admire The Office and We Are The Ants. Because they both found happiness in their own way by themselves. I crave having what they have and that is what makes people like me and you to become attached to pieces like these. Because we are all on the pursuit of happiness and none of us have reached it yet. And like the Dalai Lama said "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."
The second and final way that this quote represents this show is the line at the end, "We'll keep marching on." I can connect this line and the storyline of The Office because after their crazy days at the office were over they went on to live their own lives. Jim and Pam moved to Texas to start their own life. Meredith got her degree in psychology. Kevin bought a bar. Dwight stayed at his house and raised his family. Andy got a job at the college he attended, Cornell. Darryl made a new company. Stanley moved to Florida. Erin moved in with her parents. Oscar decided to get into politics and run for state governor. And finally, Michael moved somewhere with Holly and made a family. That was a long list of people moving on, but connecting that to the story of We Are The Ants, Henry learned to move on with his life and be happy. Ultimately that's what everybody did in both of these stories. Moving on is a big part of life and it takes a lot of guts to finally get over whatever it is you are on. But you eventually do move on, that was one message that is very clear about both of these works. It doesn't matter how long it takes for you to move on, just as long as you do and become a happier, more positive person along the way. To basically summarize the meaning of everything that is written above, Elizabeth Gilbert once wrote "People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly." Participating in the game of happiness is a major component to finding it. I would like to wrap this up saying, that both The Office and We Are The Ants are great pieces and provide an amazing insight on other peoples lives as well as have a meaning. I absolutely recommend for people to read the book and/or watch the show. Either way, you will not be disappointed.
A little experiment to do by yourself, Buy a notebook and write down every major thing that happens in your life and write down everything that has happened to you in the past. Therefore keeping a record of what goes on in your life. If you do this for nine years, you will know what its like being a character on the show.