Crab Mentality Is UniversalCommentary Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
(Part 7 of the “In Defense of the Filipino” series)
IT IS said that we Filipinos have crab mentality and so we do not attain the progress and prosperity we have long been aspiring for, that it is practiced only by us Filipinos, and that we will remain a poor nation if it is not plucked from our selves.
Allegedly, we pull those on top of us so that we can be the ones in the better position; or when it seems that we cannot all go out of our bad conditions, we pull everyone down so that all of us will share the misery; then, we relish it when we have pulled somebody down.
Neighbors defaming neighbors, reporters inventing stories about celebrities, businessmen performing unfair competitions, and professionals dislodging fellow professionals are among the crab mentality practices. Of course, there is the timeless neighborhood rivalry: If a resident buys something, his neighbor will try to outdo him by purchasing a similar but more expensive item. And when politicians fail to deliver their electoral promises of better lives, they chastise the people for not cooperating and rather pulling down others, hence the general failure.
There was that actress who became “world-famous in the Philippines” when she made striking feats in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway theaters.
Her countrymen, who were very proud of her, prayed for her to win the most prestigious stage-acting award in New York. Her victory overwhelmed them. But years later, she pointed out in a television interview that she achieved all those glories because she came out of the Filipino attitude of pulling each other down.
What about the millions of Filipinos who were very proud of her and prayed for her?
Universal attitude. Crab mentality is a human habit similar to what crabs do when put in a basket. If the basket is left with no heavy cover, the crabs inside it will all have gotten out fast in less than an hour. If the basket is weak, they go to one side and cause it to fall toward it, thus freeing them all. If the basket is designed against their escape, they cannot all go out.
They all try to get out of where they are, and in that process pull each other down, whether they succeed in getting out or not. For them, pulling down or stepping on others is a fact of their existence. It is natural for them in the quest for success or when confronting failure.
Crab mentality is also part of humanity. It simply is envy. (Crabs do not envy one another; they just want to be free.)
Humans envy and try to outdo each other because of selfishness and greed, but not all the time. When one envies somebody, one of his natural reactions is to knock him down, but this does not always happen. Each one of us may envy, yet we do not always pull others down. We usually just keep to ourselves those envious feelings and then let them go away.
Other articles by Jon E. Royeca
- Why Is the Philippines A Poor Country? - January 19, 2010
- Defend the Filipino - January 19, 2010
- Wrong Perceptions of Americans - January 19, 2010
- Gossips are everywhere - January 19, 2010
- Copycats? - January 19, 2010
- Colonial Mentality - January 19, 2010
- The Real ‘Filipino Time’ - January 19, 2010
- On Our Sense of History - January 19, 2010
- It’s Not Lack of Discipline - January 19, 2010
- All Nations Have Graft and Corruption - January 19, 2010
Popularity: 6% [?]
Short URL: http://emanila.com/philippines/?p=232