This is a high-wire question. But, I do not actually refer to the strict meaning of the word, which his “grouchy”, “irritable”, “ill-natured”, “peevish”. What I am actually referring to is about the Filipinos’ “crab mentality”.
So are we “crabby” in our mentality? How many say “yes”, and how many say “no”?
There is a majority belief among Filipinos that we do have a crab mentality. What exactly is a “crab mentality”? Wikipedia described crab mentality in a phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you”. Crab mentality has been observed among the “crabs in the bucket”. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from a bucket, but instead, they grab at each other which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. In human behaviour, the analogy is that of a group that will attempt to “pull down” any member who achieves success beyond the others, because of envy or competitive feelings.
This meaning is very true among the Filipinos. There is always a tendency for us to “pull down” anyone who is about to achieve success in his/her career, and most of the time, out of envy. And precisely, this is the reason why a lot of Filipinos have gone abroad to ensure possible success, because there is no guarantee of reaching success in the Philippines unless one was born rich and need not work in contrast to those who come from a struggling family and being abroad is the only possible way out to poverty and could guarantee professional success. It doesn’t necessary mean though that the rich are immuned to such a type of “mentality”, albeit it could be a worse case insofar as the rich ones are concerned. Definitely, being abroad entails a lot of hard work, perseverance and desire to succeed to reach the targeted goal. So I would say that the failure or success of one does depend on the person him/herself. Crab mentality may not work in the sense, unless the Filipino is at luggerhead with another Filipino because of business interest. And surely, it can be more manifested in business especially when competition between them is at hand.
Crab mentality is evident in small or big companies, between employees themselves, who “compete” among each other to reach the top level in the company hierarchy. But it is not only true in companies. It is also manifested among friends, relatives, in any group of the society. The tendency to display “envy” to a fellow Filipino who is raking success after success is, I would say “ill-health”, well, mentally speaking.
But why do we have that syndrome?. I am saying “we”, because, I am a Filipino. But, it doesn’t signify that I am “crabby”, neither am I saying that we are all “crabs” in a way. I guess it is part of the social up-bringing in the Philippines. A lot of Filipinos have to struggle on a daily basis. We were born struggling day-in and day-out. Lucky are those who were born with a “silver-spoon”, so they are more or less “alienated” from having to exert much effort to be economically stable. Everyone’s battle-cry is to “compete, compete, and compete”. But instead of really being competitive, the impulse is to be on the look-out for anyone who might already be reaching the “tip of the bucket” and eventually escape from the group who will remain grappling and be off and away from the “success misfortune”.
I guess Filipinos could change to some extent and just be concerned about his/her own personal growth and development. Competition will always “haunt”, the wits out of US. Merely seeing someone on top discourages a person. But instead of “using” that person as a form of encouragement, the easiest way is to “pull him down”, like the crabs in the bucket. It shouldn’t the case. We could be elated for a Filipino who has plummeted to success, and just think of what we can do for ourself to approximate the same level of triumph. Definitely, it means one has to strive a lot. But struggle is always compensated at the end, yet however, you’ve got to do the right thing. That’s all folks…..Eric
I really hope that after the mishaps the occured the past days, we are now fully recovered.
I shall be publishing a short write-up about the trip we did to Fatima Portugal, my friend and I organized here in Madrid. I will share some photos and video shots of those who were with us in the group. Fatima is a very important pilgrimage spot where the Virgin Mother appeared before three shepherds in the early 1900’s. Our next trip is scheduled for Lourdes, France and I shall likewise share with everyone photos of that trip we shall complete after the Three Kings.
Visit the link below to see photos of FILIPINO group in Madrid’s trip to Fatima.