Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crabs in a Bucket

In Oaxaca, Mexico, there are over 16 different languages spoken, other than Spanish. Over 4,000 different indigenous groups represent half of the indigenous population in the entire country. Although these cultures make great contributions to society and culture as a whole, with such diversity, conflict often arises. When I was living in Oaxaca, I heard the story of the two bushels of crabs many, many times as a comparison to daily life.

The story is so true...

There are two bushels of crabs. In one bucket, a few crabs slowly make their way to the top of the bucket, almost able to push off the top and lead all of the crabs to freedom. But just as the crab approaches the top of the bucket, he is brutally pulled down by the other crabs. But he is not deterred. Once again, he carefully climbs up the bucket and is pulled down repeatedly. The other crabs almost seem to delight in their torment, not realizing that they are only hurting themselves.

In the second bucket of crabs, a few crabs make their way to the top of the bucket. The other crabs realize that this is a good thing. All of the crabs work together and support each other, following the lead of the first crab. In the end, they escape from the bucket and are saved.

I am involved with a non-profit women's organization in my community and have experienced a great deal of negativity and criticism during my involvement. It seems like any time someone tries to do something to make the organization better, that person is pulled down, just like the poor crabs. One person, who had a significant position in the organization, moved to another chapter and at least two others are considering a similar change.

This crab mentality is a detriment to civic organizations who cannot help the community as a whole or move forward because of struggles within the crab bucket.

I wish we could all work together and support each other. Sadly, I will not participate in a group who chooses to act in the manner. I am fortunate to belong to other organizations the promote a common good as well as being active with my church.

Let's all help each other!

Have you ever experienced anything like this with a civic or non-profit organization? Seems like there are lots of crabs in the world! I would love to hear your stories about this, because it seems to happen in a lot of places.

After a somewhat draining day yesterday, I'm refreshed and ready to go. It's a new day. Have a beautiful Wednesday.



  1. Me gusto mucho. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Que bueno que te gusto, Alejandra. Gracias por tu comentario.



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