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Crabs in a Bucket By Robin Carter

I can recall hearing some of my elder family members speak about life and different things that were happening in the world back then and how displeased they were about it. Some of the terms and statements they used seemed so awkward at times; I remember wondering if they even understood what they were saying. Ask me today if I understand the meaning of those statements and comments the elders made and I’ll “chuckle” at the question.

Have you ever had a goal or a plan and while you were trying to accomplish them you suddenly find out that friends, co-workers, even family members sometimes have doubts about you? There is always going to be critics and naysayers in our lives, but we must remember that our dreams are not based on how others view us. Other people cannot set limits for your life; only you can do that. A “crab mentality” is a way of thinking which describes a certain phrase, “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” This metaphor refers to a behavior of a bunch of crabs trapped in a bucket, and when one sees the other crawling too close to the top, the one will climb on its back and drag it back down. This also happens with human behaviors when we attempt to reduce the self-confidence of another in hopes to prevent them from achieving success of any kind. These actions can sometimes be out of envy, spite, jealousy, competitiveness or just plain cruelty. Sometimes people who may be in bad situations may have the “crab mentality.” They may feel if you have a home, plenty of food, money, a job and good friends, you are blessed, and because they don’t have them, they are not. My thoughts are, whether we have any of these things or not we are still blessed. Life itself is a true blessing, and as long as we have air to breathe, we can obtain these things if we choose to. So we must not allow a “crab mentality” to cause us to lose hope and confidence in ourselves. We must seek to surround ourselves with like-minded people; the ones who not only believe in themselves, but also in us. We need those in our lives who will help us up if we fall, and we should do likewise. Life can be tough, so if you manage to pull yourself out of the bucket reach back and help someone else up. This can be done by simple words of encouragement or just pointing them in the right direction to get help if you are not able to. It’s just the right thing to do.

The Apostle Paul had a dream that pictured a map of the place he needed to go to preach, (Act 16:9-15) he didn’t care if others didn’t believe in him. He was determined not to allow their unbelief to keep him from believing in his dream. You see, everyone does not need to validate your decisions, yet we need to follow the voice of God for ourselves, and He will direct our path. God gives only good gifts (James 1:17). So when He sends the sun, it is to bless the just as well as the unjust. When He sends the rain, it is to do good, even to the unjust. God’s purpose is for us to be a means of blessings to others. When He blesses us, it is not only for ourselves but for all those around us as well. In that way, even our very presence becomes a blessing to others. So there is no need for a “crab in the bucket mentality,” for God can/will bless us all.