I come from a middle class family, born and raised in suburbia. As my father always said, you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, boy. While that is not entirely accurate, the saying does ring true in many aspects of my life. I have never had to fight for anything in my life, I have never had to worry about the next time I would get a meal, and I have never worried about where I would sleep that night. In a certain sense, I am spoiled.
Based on this premise, neither I nor any of my four brothers and two sisters (I know, that’s a big family) should fall short of the potential in our lives. We were raised with every opportunity to succeed, and every safety net to catch us if we stumbled or fell. Our parents even paid for nearly each and every one of us (with the exception of the eldest brother because he decided to join the army) to attend college and graduate with a Bachelors degree. Therefore, this type of environment should propagate only fruitful individuals.
Working in hospitals and clinics, I have seen what happens to children that are neglected and treated with disdain. It is a sad sight to witness a child falling behind in her development while the mother ignores this and yells at the child, “I told you to shut up while Mommy’s talking.” Then the mother calmly brings her attention back to me to finish describing why the employees at the social service office is ‘full of a bunch of selfish assholes’ for not listening to her situation in order to receive WIC supplements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIC).
With the thought of that mother in your head, it is hard to understand how an individual that is born with a silver spoon in his mouth could slowly dissolve his life in alcohol. He has every opportunity to live a fulfilled life; however, he fights every day to not regress. At this point in time, he is not winning the fight.