Han­dling the crab men­tal­ity..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

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..!

— Email: bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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