Crabs in a Bucket
I read something on the Internet the other day, it was a psychological study that mentioned many dos and many don’ts, and the thing that stood out to me is “never mention your goals”. It seems by mentioning your goals aloud or by posting them in any number of social media or simply discussing your dreams at dinner with friends, it lessens the likelihood of your desires even seeing fruition. I’ve known this about dieting since I was young; I never spoke of going on a diet. Most of my secretive diets were successful, but once I told someone they would encourage me to cheat. What is it about humankind that encourages someone to cheat?
A crab in the bucket is all I can say. I remember my father talking about the phenomenon from when I was a child when we spent lots of time at the beach. A crab will pull down any crab it sees escaping, and I suppose if I had lots of education I could clarify it in big words, but simply - no one wants to see the other escaping the bucket. Any intuitive person can experience this simple part of humanity when viewing the educational system or the riots that are happening in the United States these days or a quick view of social media.
Maybe I am an odd one in that I hope and pray people will do better, that they will get the golden ring, and that they will meet their goals, but according to the study, going back into the 1940s, I am the rare one. I honestly pray that friends and family, and sometimes odd strangers who decide to talk to me, will find what they are looking to achieve. I would like to think that those who know my goals are praying and cheering my attempts, but the studies going back nearly seventy years say that I am a hopeless optimist.
The term hopeless optimist has never been a description ascribed to me. I am swampy, green, a little dark, and always below the surface. I have lamented surface dwellers as something I don’t quite understand, but even knowing that I wish the best for everyone and wish for their dreams and visions to come true. So in this day of social media where people post their deepest thoughts, and their dreams, it disturbs me that folks aren’t encouraging, and aren’t pushing their friends, their follow crabs, out of the bucket.
I have goals, a new novel coming out, my husband’s new CD released, and I would only want the encouragement and prayers that we succeed with our endeavors, but this study, perhaps older than time, tells me I am still a babe in the woods in understanding a fundamental part of humanity.
We want to overcome, we all want to do better, but maybe, just maybe, many want that without putting in the effort. I suppose most humans are focused on themselves, their pains, losses, and condemnations, but how are we to grow without giving something of ourselves? Without joining together to push that crab away and then beginning the struggle that is totally personal, how do we expect another to succeed when we’re holding them down? How do we expect to succeed when we’re not giving the push to get the other over the rim?
So as I go squirrel up my chickens, and cut the grass in the yard that is far too long, I’d like to ask that even if you don’t admire your “friends” on social media, even if you are pissed off about your brother or sister or cousin or high school friends, please encourage them to be the best they can be and pray for their dreams. You never know when there may be a hand reaching over the rim of that bucket helping you along.
Keep seeking and believing.
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