If you are unaware or don’t believe in statistics then you are likely to become one. I grew up with the same group of guys and continued the friendship well into adulthood. I know enough about every stage of their lives to make sense of them.
In the beginning you all appear to be at the same level mostly because grade school and the legalities of age confine you. Sure, Mike might have all the swimming badges but who cares. John is an honour roll student but his grades aren’t doing anything for him right now. Dave’s grades suck and he’s good at nothing except thievery but he’s still in the same grade as Mike and John. Everyone’s future is still speculative.
Once you’re out of high school you’re free to fly as much as you are free to do nothing. From there it’s a slow rise or descent which makes being able to see the future vast disparities of inevitable outcomes difficult especially with the large dose of ego of a 20 -something-year-old.
Once time has somewhat settled the dust it all starts to make sense. It may have always made sense but to make sense you need knowledge and rationality. Broken homes and poverty is a killer combination. If you have one or the other you can get by at least with the appearance anyway. If you have both you’re a coin toss. You’re either in trouble or at best on the low-end of average. If you become the latter they’ll say, “you turned out okay.” What they really mean is that you could be a lot worse.
The few guys in the group from disadvantaged upbringings show the same thing in common. None of us had that strong enough desire or the capability to become successful or even that average guy in society. Perhaps it’s having no one to disappoint or to impress, having less fear of failure or some kind of brain wiring. Maybe if you don’t get what you need when you were young you can’t move on. I think the pitfall was using average as the barometer for success and competency.
Everyone else is living that typical life of marriage and a career. Even if they are miserable doing it or will be that’s considered normal. For them the want is there and strong. You don’t have to be happy to be considered a functional and competent adult in society.
Your early upbringing can retard your development or point it in a different direction. It might not necessarily be a bad thing but it’s not like most people. If you want to function well with society though you have to be like most people.