Like Crabs in a Bucket

I heard that if someone put two crabs in one bucket, he would never have to put a lid on it.  Why?  Because, supposedly, the second crab will always pull the other one down as it tries to escape.  I don’t know whether this is true or merely a legend, but the saying is all over the place.  I searched it through Google and found several pages of the saying and images to support it. I even found a Star Trek meme using this saying (pictured above).

Regardless of its authenticity, the analogy speaks a painful truth about people.  Some people are like crabs in a bucket, whether they intend to be or not.  For some reason, they just can’t let other people rise to the top…experience success…have a good day, without doing everything they can to drag the person down into the mire of their own existence.  What do I mean?  Take this week for example.  I am on my second week of the Nutrisystem diet.  I have had incredible success:  11 pounds in the first week and 9 in the second.  I was excited.  It wasn’t easy, but it was doable.

As I shared my success, I discovered a painful truth.  Not everyone was happy.  Some were jealous…some were angry…some were skeptical.  It wasn’t fair, they claimed.  My weight loss was so easy.  Most of these individuals claimed to be faithful on their diets for a month, only to lose 2-3 pounds.  Some said, “Men are just that way.  We (women) have to work so hard to lose any weight at all, and men go on a diet and lose it all in two weeks.”  Wow.

Why would anyone want me to fail?  And how in the world does my losing weight and experiencing success ruin their day?  Can’t we celebrate each other’s victories without jealousy or anger?  Can’t we promote one another without an undercurrent of resentment or revenge?  Can’t we be happy for someone else without it having to always be about “me”?  Why can’t we work towards racial equality without having to hate someone else in the process?  That’s not how Christ intended it to be.  We were to see the world through His eyes…eyes of love.

The Apostle Paul described the group of Christian believers as a body and told us that God designed it “so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).  This is a call to empathy, not revenge.  It wasn’t said that one part of the body should make the others suffer as he does.  It was written so that we would be aware of the pain and victories of our fellow Christians.  I would say this should be true of the human race as well.  

Celebrate with the victories of others.  Carry the weight of pain of others.  For it is said, “A pain shared is halved, but a victory shared is doubled.”  May we double joy and half the pain of others.  Try it for a day or two and see how it spreads.


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