This is NYCTalking, and this story is about one of the not so pretty aspects of New York City. I’ll be talking about how some people cannot stand to see another do well, or receive nice things in life. It’s known as the crab mentality. You may or may not have heard of this term, in the slight off chance that you don’t know about this concept, here is a good description that I found on the Wisegeek website:
The term “crab mentality” is used to describe a kind of selfish, short-sighted thinking that runs along the lines of “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” This term is especially widely used among Filipinos, who use it specifically to refer to people who pull other people down, denigrating them rather than letting them get ahead or pursue their dreams. As a general rule, an accusation of having this type of mentality is a poor reflection on someone’s personality.
This concept references an interesting phenomenon that occurs in buckets of crabs. If one crab attempts to escape from a bucket of live crabs, the others will pull it back down rather than allowing it to get free. Sometimes, the crabs seem almost malicious, waiting until the crab has almost escaped before yanking it back into the pot. All of the crabs are undoubtedly aware of the fact that their fate is probably not going to be very pleasurable, so people are led to wonder why they pull each other back into the bucket instead of helping the clever escape artist.
Today my little sister joined the ranks of High School graduates in my family. She earned her high school diploma and becomes the 3rd member from my immediate family to progress towards college. Big congratulations to my little sister for this achievement, I’m so very proud and happy for her.
As a gift for her efforts, my brother in law and my middle sister came from Pennsylvania with a limousine rented for her. The plan was giving her a ride to and from the day’s events. A little luxury and splurging for us po’ folk, she earned it! As we waited for my sister with the vehicle outside, people were passing by, continually trying to look into the limo. That wasn’t a problem, that’s to be expected. Here is what really got to me though, some of them were sneering at us! Some threw drinks at the car, and ultimately some cowards started throwing garbage at the limo from their windows and hiding.
Why? Why do some people behave this way? Here is a kid that is being given a gift, something she earned through hard work, and these losers seek to disturb her moment. My mother told me that when my sister was going to her prom last week, that they also rented a limo for her and her friends. She said that some of the local gang members were starting trouble with the male graduates that were going to the prom in the car, and harassing the ladies. Why? Why do these imbeciles behave this way? My little sister tells me “I can’t wait to leave this neighborhood.”
Parents, discipline your kids, teach them right and wrong. Why is it that when anything nice comes along, some people seek to destroy it? This happened in the Bronx, the exact block where I grew up! These cowards threw items from their windows and then hid. I told my brother in law (who was driving the limo) to move the car so these idiots wouldn’t continue launching items at us.
There is a reason some people never advance in life, it’s because of their own behavior. Don’t misinterpret this, I don’t think I am better than anybody, but I do not want to live around people like that ever again. I experienced this often when I was growing up. If you have something nice, they either try to take it from you, destroy it, or torment you as a result of their own insecurities. People like that will never advance. The severity of their actions only grows worst and worst with age, and most end up in prison or dead as a result. I can’t say that I feel sorry for them, they end up where they belong, and they get what they deserve.
Mind you, I target no race or color here, but the fact of the matter is quite simple. These were our own people treating us this way, that’s the saddest part of it all. Instead of coming over and saying “Congratulations,” they chose to throw items at us. Can you blame me, or my sister, and many other Latinos who have left the neighborhood behind? I never forget where I come from, but days like today, remind me why I moved on.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.