Kent Redford

Let the ants crawl over you

THEMES: Personal Practice  |  WORKSHOP: Synthesis


Kent Redford

Born in Taipei; raised by traveling foreign service parents; stunned by the social and biological setting of University of California-Santa Cruz; and frustrated by a PhD experience at Harvard University where he worked in Brazil on giant anteaters and termites, Kent then spent ten years as an academic at University of Florida where he learned the importance of interdisciplinary training of tropical graduate students and worked on subsistence hunting in tropical America. Deciding that he needed to try the applied world, Kent moved to The Nature Conservancy where he worked on protected area issues and broadscale conservation planning. For the last fourteen years he has been at the Wildlife Conservation Society working on a broad range of issues from human health and conservation to wildlife well-being.




One of the things that I've practiced, not as frequently as I should, is to go sit outside, without any clothes on if you can find the right place, and let the ants crawl over you. Just watch them, an individual at a time, and imagine the nature of living your life the size of an ant, without distancing yourself as a human from an ant, but just as an object in the world of the ant that it then has to climb over and go on about its way. I find that somehow to be a very centering and humbling view that makes me feel more a part of the natural world and less distanced, even though then I put my clothes on, and in the processes of that begin the distancing of myself from that ant.