Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A World Full of Crustaceans

On the phone with my boyfriend last night, he expressed some things that instantly made me think of the "crabs in a bucket theory". The theory, mostly associated with the black race, basically says, as a race or more specifically as a culture or a community, or even on a personal level in any relationship, we can't progress because instead of helping each other, we pull each other back, similar to how crabs in a barrel pull each other down when one is trying to escape the bucket.

Wikipedia's explanation:
"Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither should you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition (or sabotage) which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that of a group that will attempt to "pull down" (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of jealousy, conspiracy or competitive feelings."

A different article sums it up in a quote:
"People love success. They just don't like successful people."

What do we blame this theory on? Is it human nature? Is it society? Did we inadvertently learn this in our development? We (people), have such a hard time processing the reality that, in life, others will be more successful and whether we realize it or not, sometimes we develop jealous feelings and they won't allow us to be happy for that person, let alone help them. It's not a blatant "I want what he has" jealousy, more of "why would I help him and he's doing better than me" or even "we're on the same level, why would I help him get to the next level" way of thinking. You're not jealous of what that person has, rather you're jealous of what you don't have (if that makes any sense). Think about it! You're going to help someone you're doing better than before you help someone who is doing better than you. Along with the problem of self-doubt and low success rates that already plague our race, this mentality is another way we cripple ourselves. We'd rather see someone doing bad or be equal to us than let them surpass us. Which, let me add could work out for you. It's called networking. One hand washes the other. Though, The crab mentality can go both ways. We have to be willing to help someone up once we get to the top. As always, it goes back to a kind of team thinking and not that we should all be a part of a team but if me helping someone else has even the slightest potential of helping me, directly or indirectly, why wouldn't I? All good and all evil has a cycle. Unfortunately, sometimes we are so enslaved by our immediate that we compromise our ultimate. We have to keep the bigger picture in mind! And Let me be the first to admit that doing something as simple as remembering the bigger picture is sooooo hard, especially in the moment, but life promotes learning which promotes growth. Add a positive mindset and patience and the things we can accomplish are endless. (I have to constantly remind myself that EVERYTHING is a process.) I have a feeling that in some way, we're all guilty somewhere on the crab mentality scale. The challenge us figuring out where.

"Teamwork makes the dreamwork"

An interesting lesson on the crab mentality (short & sweet)

Audio of a woman who had a campaign called "No weddings, no wombs" which was targeted at teenage girls/young women who were not yet mothers. The result were women who were mothers that were offended by the campaign giving negative feedback. Basically, the woman talking is saying that the women giving the feedback have a crab mentality and are steering the targeted young women in the wrong direction. I don't agree with all of this woman's views but she had good arguments to support her accusations. (good points until the 8 minute mark)

1 comment:

  1. Hey I just wanted you to know that I have recommended this particular blog to many many individuals that I have recently rubbed elbows with. Although I consider myself "baby" intelligent, I couldn't have put the CRABS IN a BUCKET theory better! So so so relevant to life and honestly everybody in my opinion needs to read and re-read your perspective of the theory!!! Keep up the good work Cuzzo, you definitely get it honest :-)