A dear friend of mine once described society as a bucket of crabs and every time one crab makes it to the top of the bucket, the others are reaching up to pull it back down. It’s a very simple analogy, but the image has stuck with me all these years.
Every time I see someone bashed for new ideas, for daring to rise above those around them, for being courageous enough to step out of the norm and try something new, I immediately envision that bucket of crabs. It would be funny, except, it’s really not.
It’s not funny at all to see the light dim in someone’s eyes, who feels passion for something, only to be met with the wall of “It’s always been this way.” It’s not funny at all, to watch someone’s inspiration quickly dismissed. To watch something that excited them, suddenly turn into a burden.
It really isn’t funny to watch someone who found their way to the top, whether with hard work and perseverance, or by total accident and with a little luck, suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them by collective naysayers.
It’s not funny. It’s sad. And more times than not, the root can be traced to two things: fear or jealousy. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Jealousy over someone else getting more than you. Someone getting what you wanted, but haven’t been able to attain. Someone else getting the credit.
So, the next time you see someone scrambling to the top, take a moment and imagine that bucket of crabs and let that person scramble right out of the bucket. Or, better yet, give them a boost. Their idea might just be the one thing that gets you out of the bucket, too.