If you put 100 black ants and 100 red ants in a jar, nothing will happen. But when you shake the jar, the ants will start killing each other. When agitated, ants release formic acid which triggers their instinct to attack. The red ants believe the blacks are the enemy, and the black ants blame the reds.
Of course, the real enemy is the one who shook the jar.
There’s some debate about this metaphor. Apparently, there are thousands of ant species and not all are fighters. But doesn’t this sound like our society? When people get upset, we choose sides. Left vs. Right. Rich vs. Poor. Men vs. Women. Science vs. Religion.
Like ants, we’re toxic when shaken.
So, the secret is to avoid those who shake your jar and stick with what makes you feel good…like Michael Franti. He has been packing arenas for years. So, I am late to the Franti party. But this dude is a force of nature.
Here’s my take. Michael Franti is described as an American singer-songwriter, poet and activist. His sound is hard to peg, an indescribable blend of roots, reggae, soul, funk & pop. His songs are authentic and positive, often just short of cheesy.
Michael Franti is one-part musician and one-part crusader for social justice.
In concert, Franti is so damn joyous, it feels like a spiritual revival. He spends as much time onstage as he does wading through the crowd. Franti is not a chart-topper and his music won’t blow you away. Still, he evokes the spirituality of Bob Marley, the passion of Springsteen and the glee of Barney the dinosaur.
Michael Franti often wears a shirt that reads ‘Work Hard & Be Nice’.
Let’s have more of that.