This is something I've struggled to understand for years, so I'm asking for other opinions on it. I have a cousin who is 33 years old. She came from a very poor household. She moved in with my parents at 19 years old and was given every chance to make a better life for herself. She didn't have the good sense to finish up cosmetology school or to go to any other kind of school. At 21 she decided to join the air force. She was discharged in like 6 months due to a knee problem. Very slender woman, very pretty, could have gotten any man she wanted. Instead of doing that she went off to Okalhoma and married a childhood crush of hers who promised her the world. She had lived with him for less than 6 months before they got married. He turned out to be an alcoholic drug abuser, but instead of packing it up and moving back, she stuck it out. She put on almost 150 lbs and they ended up having a child a few years later. Now she's 33. She has an 8 year old child, is a single mother, and has finally finished up school. She moved back up here 2 years ago and lived with my parents until she could find a job and place to live. Everyone is singing her praises for going to school, finding a decent job (she still makes little enough that she lives in a government subsidized apartment) and trying to get her stuff back together. Nobody has a single word to say about me or my brother. We've graduated at the top of our classes, I'm about to finish college (at 21), I've been working full time since I was 19 living on my own and handling all of my own crap without falling into the problems she seemed to put herself in. Why do those people who have messed up so badly in life end up getting accolades for finally pulling their heads out of their asses and doing what everybody else does?