Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at

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We live in a dog-eat-dog world where people will do whatever it takes to be successful, even if that means harming others.

It’s survival of the fittest at its most literal. In the real world, if you can’t take care of yourself, you get eliminated.

I’ve seen people back door their closest friends just to have the upper hand. I was told as a kid that people want to see you do good but never better than them, and as I’ve gotten older, it’s been clear as day to see.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who genuinely want to see you succeed no matter if it’s better than them or not, but they are hard to come by these days.

Everything has turned into a popularity contest, and social media is giving people false realities. If you post something nice and it gets a lot of attention, there is most likely going to be someone trying to post something nicer because they want the attention you just got.

This is why I focus on myself and rarely post my accomplishments, because people really don’t want to see you win. No matter how good you’re doing for yourself and/or your community, there is always someone trying to outdo you, and they will go to the furthest extent to do so.

Stay focused and don’t worry about the negativity. Deal with it if it comes your way, but don’t sweat it if it doesn’t. Continue to better yourself to the best of your ability and don’t let anyone knock you off of your square. You can do it; you’re built for this!

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He can be reached at

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