Skip to Main Content

What Can Rats Teach Us About Hope?

Rats are an animal we would rather not think about. More importantly, we don’t want to have personal encounters with these long tail vermin. Even the cinematic personification of beloved rat characters is not enough to get us to love rats. Despite all of the negative, they bring to the lives of humans across the world, what can rats teach us about hope?

Tread Water

Whether it is stress from home, work, or children, we all feel at times like we are simply trying to tread metaphorical water. It is all we can do to keep our heads in the range of breathing. It is the act of having to constantly be pushing things aside to keep us afloat that creates this anxiety-inducing situation.

In an experiment back in the 50s, Dr. Richter put some rats in a pool of water without hope of jumping out or building an escape route. He wanted to see how long they would tread. Think about the last time you swam. How long would you be able to tread water right now? Do you think the rats could go longer or shorter? The average rat gave up and sank after 15 minutes.

Aquatic Animal Watershrew (neomys fodiens), Mouse diving on it’s search for Food

Round 2 Twist

Depending on how much disdain you hold for rats, you may find this experiment interesting, invigorating, or possibly even cruel. Dr. Richter was not cruel – he would rescue them from the water when they gave up. He then kindly dried them off and let them rest for a few minutes…..right before plunging them back into the water (insert evil, maniacal laugh here).

This was the real test. How long could they swim or tread water this time? Remember, they had already expended their energy. They were already tired. They already knew they were bound to sink. Did they make it 10 minutes or match their previous best minute for minute?

The Power of Belief

Despite being motivated by the survival instinct, these rats managed to tread water 4 times longer in round 2. That is right: 60 minutes! Their brains and brain-body connection realized that there was a hope of being saved. This hope gave them the willpower, energy, and determination to fight until all energy was ultimately expended.

Finding Hope

When we are treading proverbial water, it is hard to see our surroundings. Remember that we can find hope in our neighbors. More importantly, let’s remember that we can offer hope to those around us. At Rove Pest Control, we understand that you have plenty on your plate. You don’t need the added waters of pests and the diseases they carry interrupting your flow. Turn your pest worries and concerns over to us and we’ll stay ahead of the game for you. This little bit of hope can be the difference between 15 and 60 more minutes of essential treading. Schedule a free inspection today!