Seesaws are meant to be played by either rising up or dropping down. There’s no fun in just balancing at the middle. Same goes with how life works. Having an equivalent state to other people in terms of wealth is therefore a step away from impossible. Yes, we are seen by the Deity as equals but that doesn’t mean that He’ll give everyone similar blessings. With that set-up, most individuals still gets resentful by the fact that what’s given to others isn’t given to them. In the end, this may result to doing regretful acts.
The greatest ethical challenge that we are facing today is loss of benevolence. How did compassion and sympathy almost slip out of our lives?
Crab Mentality? Check!
According to urbandictionary.com, crab mentality is a behavior of a person who diminishes or pulls down anyone else who achieves or is about to achieve success greater than their own. It can also be related to the words greed or envy. When someone gets ahead of us, there are chances of getting jealous and wanting to have their positions. The urge to take action will progress until we resolve to the only solution that comes to mind: to bring them down.
There are mainly two initial reasons why it is still present today: pride and fear.
Pride – some treat life as a competition. Success is determined if they get far ahead of others or being the first to attain a title. Wishing for someone’s failure is normal for them since winning is everything. Instead of focusing on pulling their selves out of that mess, they are choosing to make their situation nastier because of greed.
Fear – in a bucket full of crabs, no one wants to be left alone in a bucket, no one wants to be the last one to get out of it. Their mantra? “If I can’t have it, no one can have it.” In real life, they may be just afraid of being replaced or looked over.
Let’s think of cloud nine as the uppermost part of a narrow ladder with steps almost worn out. Reality check: Only a few can get to the top at the same time however, some choose to destroy the rungs in order to spend more time enjoying their taste of success while enjoying the view of struggling peers below. In order to fulfill our hopes of the earthly paradise, we decline even the sake of those around us to make ourselves feel accomplished. Can pulling down others make our ranks in life soar higher?
Making a choice isn’t supposed to be a problem but a process. It only seems difficult because of its effects, either long term or short term. We humans have a tendency to be in situations requiring for us to make assessments and pick on choices. The dilemma in this procedure is having to select whether which party will have to say goodbye to the benefits. Would you rather choose other’s welfare at the expense of you having to face the inconveniences? Or to relish luxuries and sacrifice someone else’s well-being?
The solution to regain back the sympathy that’s almost gone can be found in each and every one of us. It can only be solved if we’re willing to unwrap presents not for ourselves but for others without feeling envious, if we’re enthusiastic about running a race without the idea of knocking off others to win first place, and when we’re already expressing gratitude and saying “thank you” without expecting for a “you’re welcome” in return.
Being Chained to the System
As people conspire to make up a desirable increase in the stature of daily living, most of us recall about the bills to pay, the meetings to attend or the posts to be reacted; we become robots and neglect to be humans.
Besides the rusty metal prison cells, there is another jail where almost all of us are locked in which is our cellular phones. When you walk down an alley at night, you may see the light of lampposts from above and the glowing faces of walking people. Not because of smiles, but because of the light emitted by their phones.
Scroll, Like, Scroll. We act as if the number of likes on social media mean being respected by those who pressed the button, but what if they just clicked the button out of normal routines? Scroll, like and scroll for a like in return – for just fame. Posts about humanistic acts are all around social media platforms – with thousands of likes but fewer actual actions. As you read this part of the essay, several clicks are already being given to those posts either because of compassion, awareness or to simply put a marker on pictures that he/she had already seen.
Are we too busy looking down to our phones that we’re already forgetting live actual people behind the doors of our rooms waiting to be recognized?
There’s nothing wrong with embracing modern technology but we must always prioritize people and not the screens.
Always Staying in Between
Not having a say is already a statement. What happens if we decide to go for the middle?
If you are a witness in the court, being silent or holding back what you’re going to tell will do no good for the victim and will automatically favor the suspect. Almost all of us are guilty of this however, we won’t live as wallflowers, listening all the time forever. As we agree to bottle up all that we know, we’re just pouring more salt to a freshly wounded skin.
Neutrality may have its pros and cons so in predicaments like this, we should always know when to seal our lips or when to speak out.
We don’t want to be just another monochromatic domino that tumbles down with the others right? We are pieces of puzzles or pigments of watercolors craving and needing to form an illustration, an image of something we ache for -- humanity.
Beatrice Valen V. Peñaflor
Saint Michael’s College of Laguna
Junior High School