Saturday, February 11, 2017

Poppies, Crabs & Shields


Tall Poppy Syndrome is when a group collectively hold each other back because any one individual who does well sticks out. Tall Poppies get cut down. In other countries, this is known as Crab Mentality. In a bucket of Crabs, any individual could easily climb out but they grab at each other trying to pull each other down. As such, they all remain stuck. The problem with relative happiness is that it is a zero-sum game. In particular - prestige, power and status. Even if everyone is better off, how we rate compared to our points of reference often carries more emotional weight. Best friends. School friends. Peers. Siblings. Showing how cross-cultural this idea is, a Scandinavian author came up with the 10 rules of the Law of Jante that simplify to the basic idea that you are not to think you are anyone special, or that you're better than us. The 10 rules are known as Jante's Shield.

  1. You're not to think you are anything special.
  2. You're not to think you are as good as we are.
  3. You're not to think you are smarter than we are.
  4. You're not to convince yourself that you are better than we are.
  5. You're not to think you know more than we do.
  6. You're not to think you are more important than we are.
  7. You're not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You're not to laugh at us.
  9. You're not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You're not to think you can teach us anything.


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