Crab Cakes

At the tail end of an email I recently received, a very wise man I know made mention of a particular phenomenon that I was previously unaware of - crab mentality. His explanation follows:
  • Crab mentality – Have you ever been to a fish market? If so, you must have noticed that crabs are always sold live, but the strange thing is, the container they are in, is kept wide open, without the lid. Now you will think that crabs with their mobility will escape, but they do not. Why? Because a crab will always pull down a fellow crab which is climbing up, thus none ever reaches the top, and they all eventually become someone's dinner…"
Intrigued, I went to the all powerful and all knowing Wikipedia:
  • Crab mentality describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs in which one tries to escape over the side, but is relentlessly pulled down by the others in the pot.
  • This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloquially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to "escape" a so-called "underprivileged life", but kept from doing so by those others of the same community or nation attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or who simply resent their success.
Wow. And all along, I was simply referring to people like this as assholes.

I'm proud to say that I currently have no one in my life that exhibits these characteristics, friend or family. It's taken a long time, but these days I'm surrounded by people who want nothing more than for me to succeed in anything and everything I do. And I feel the same way about their endeavors. I'm proud that I can look to all of my friends and know that regardless of where we are individually in our careers, we can feel joy and pride for those of us who are excelling (in the entertainment industry, that's no small feat!).

Athletically, I am similarly supported (ah, if only I were creative enough to have worked the phrase "athletic supporter" into this post). From the moment I began running (and later on with CrossFit and Powerlifting), I've experienced nothing but camaraderie and support from all of the people I train with. Through good runs and bad, PRs and injuries - no one has ever tried to tear me down. Instead, I am constantly presented with the building blocks to create a stronger, healthier Divaleh.

I wonder then, why some people are content to remain in that pot, constantly being pulled back down into the fray. Is it because on some level, they don't feel as though they deserve better? Or is it easier to blame their lack of success on someone else's sabotage, rather than take the responsibility upon their own shoulders?

Whatever it is, I hope that someday I'll be in a position to give them a leg up.

Of course, at just under 5' tall, that might not be much of a boost. But it's a start.

"Crab mentality." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 Jun 2008, 01:06 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 Jun 2008


  1. I'm glad to hear that you have no crabs in your athletic supporter.

  2. Divaleh! You have so much potential it keeps me up at night. Your post describes a time honored condition that nature has instilled to provide increase for those who are born with such potential, or the capacity learn to awaken potential abilities and strengths.

    People like G-Star are not at their current level due solely to potential. Rather, the consistent work and attention to their goals, in spite of those looking to pull them back down the walls of the barrel, has keep them as close to full potential as possible.

    This I see in you, and it is my pleasure to help you "escape".


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