Why do we say “Strong as an Ox”?

Anyone who has ever had a discussion with me about life, politics or love, can attest of how much I like using parables and metaphors when I want to get my point across.


Growing up in a country where it is not part of the etiquette to clean up after your dog, I pay extremely attention to where I walk, looking down every 5 steps or so in order to avoid any malodorant surprises.

Now that I live in a area where it is not uncommon to see water dragons on the side of the pathway,  this mundane habit took a turn for the better earlier this week.

While I was on my way home from work, I stumbled across a tiny little ant dragging a dead lizard on uneven ground, all by itself. Although I already knew that ants could carry several times their body weight, it was still fascinating to see them in action.

This scene inspired me to reflect on how our society treats the concepts of “size” and “strength”.

There tends to be an obsessive preoccupation with big things in Australian culture. Nope, I am not talking about Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana and company. By “big things” I mean: big cars, big houses, big plates of food, adding to that “a go big or go home” mentality. The general consensus being that if it’s bigger, it must be better.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have found that there are more and more shared stories about switching to a minimalist lifestyle, adopting a “less is more” attitude through de-cluttering, downsizing, etc. But, I still think that this attitude is another manifestation of how materialism (or lack thereof) is used to assess the quality of our life.

Either way, like this ant, I believe we all have the inner strength to carry things that seem bigger than us. It is after all, just a matter of survival.

Next time you face a seemingly insurmountable task, perhaps try telling yourself:
I am strong as an ant!

3 thoughts on “Why do we say “Strong as an Ox”?

Add yours

  1. Hihi! This is exactly on point, and somehow I’m going to link this back to my recent post on the powers of introversion. It is one thing to applaud the strength of something that is notoriously strong, it is quite another to realise the strength of something or someone when are really tested. The latter is the power of the Quiet, or the strength of the Ant, all the more admirable, all the more impactful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jolene, Your post was spot on! Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? It guides people in becoming more aware of their personality preference based on how they perceive the world and make decisions. I’ve never found myself fitting into the introvert vs extrovert dichotomy, I guess am a little bit of both 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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