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“Hey city, where is the support?”

The photo above is of my city; that’s right, my home town. The name of this small place is Racine, Wisconsin. Population 78,000; with that good ole Midwest feel. But this is not really about my small town. This topic is actually about any small town or even big city. Why, well the reason being that it’s hard to gain love and support from your home town at times. And you would think that your town or city is the happiest to see you doing well. But not necessarily so; sure you’re going to have the people who love you. But there are still so many people that don’t like you as well. I remember a former NBA basketball player by name of Caron Butler who is from our city would drive through during off season. No he still plays a role in the community, but that’s not the problem.

You see, the real problem is the people who remember what he used to be. When Caron was a youth, he found himself wrapped-up in the narcotics world. A world where at every step you could lose your life. But he managed to come out on top and land a college scholarship playing basketball at the University of Connecticut. After that, he was drafted in the first round by the Miami Heat, and was consistently showing his face in Racine, Wisconsin. Now, as a young boy in middle school, I was like, “Wow, this dude who is an All-Star came not only from my city, but grew up in my same neighborhood; and the same street. But with all the adulation came the people who show less love than the people who are out-of-towners. People from out of town respect his rise from the streets to the NBA. But the guys who didn’t make it out the streets, frowned and didn’t show love.

And that’s when it dawned on me, people that hate the most where you’re from remember a different you. But most of all, you remind them of the time they have wasted here on Earth. Your success is confirmation what they could have been. Since they didn’t want to listen, or put in the time, they now walk around angry. But you can’t be angry at anyone but yourself. Can’t blame a guy like Caron because he said to himself, “This life ain’t for me,” and removed himself from the streets. Yet it does not sink into the people’s head where you come from. When someone not from your town succeed, you can almost dismiss their grind as luck or they had something handed to them. But a guy who grew up with you hanging on the same block is impossible to ignore. And that’s when the taste of sour grapes sets into their mouths.

In the end, own up to your own mistakes in life. Don’t let life pass you by, then get angry once someone has made the appropriate adjustments to their lives. I will never understand why there is this feeling of someone’s success is someone else’s failure. I’m proud when I see people coming from nothing doing well in life. Because it could have just easily gone in the opposite direction.



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