Why we don’t advance in society

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.

nyctalking siblings

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.

Please note the date on a post, it may be an old view. Growth and change.

Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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  1. Phil

    06-27-2013 at 12:20 am

    I agree with you here and don’t get it either. This also happened out on Long Island where we used to live. People could not handle that someone was doing better than them , even though they earned it through hard work. They would damage property or say nasty things about them. Totally uncalled for. Jealousy is everywhere sad to say. Congrats to your little sis!

    • Angel Rodriguez

      06-27-2013 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Phil. I cannot put in writing what I’d like to have been able to do to those people. I opted for the safer approach, move the vehicle away from them. I know that some of the kids were just genuinely curious, and the looking in, etc, that didn’t bother me. What got me was the ones throwing things from the windows. I couldn’t see who was doing it, and that could have injured someone.

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