Handling the crab mentality..!
MOST of you, I’m sure have heard of the famous illus tration of some crabs being transported in a basket with no cover for the basket? The story goes that when the owner of the basket was asked why he did not cover the basket as the crabs could escape, he laughed and said, “Whenever a crab tries to climb out of the basket, the other crabs below pull him down again!”
As I watch the highly respected Reserve Bank governor, Raghuram Rajan, who has done more to strengthen the Indian economy than most others have ever done, being severely criticised by Dr Subramanian Swamy, I cannot help but think of the crab story: Both the Reserve Bank governor and Swamy are from Tamilnadu, both Tamilians!
A couple of years back, the Khaleej Times in Dubai, started publishing my daily column. With a name like I have, nobody knew which country I hailed from, and I received many letters from appreciative readers, till one day the editor wrote and asked me for my photo.
The day after the photo started appearing along with my daily column, abusive letters started coming, not from westerners or foreigners or Arabs in the Gulf, but from Indians. The day they knew I was one of them, the letters came in fast, angry and furious! Over two thousand years ago, the same scenario took place in the country of Israel, Christ was becoming famous as he went from place to place preaching and healing people, till he came to Bethlehem the town of his birth.
There, the people did not listen to him, “How can the son of a carpenter talk like this?” the people asked. Jesus seeing this attitude remarked with sadness, “Truly I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Again Jesus saw the crab mentality!
But today I am not writing to criticise the crab pullers, who could even be family members, but to work out how to handle their mentality. First, we have to understand, why they do such.
They are pulling you down, because in your success they see their own inadequacy. “We both hail from the same town,” or, “the same family,” they mutter to themselves, “So how can you be a success while I am not?”
Once you understand the person is not looking at you but at himself, once you realise he or she needs to be pitied not retorted to angrily, that the person needs to be left alone, then leave him or her alone. Instead of turning round and attacking the crab pulling you down, keep striving to get out of the basket. Continue working your way up to success!
But don’t stop there, once you have started achieving, once you’ve got out of the basket, turn round and encourage the crabs below to follow you up; who knows, you may even change the attitude of those in the basket! This, dear friends, is the only way to handle crab mentality..!
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