Usually that takes the form of wealthy or well-c0nnected parents, education including nursery school which provided networks of useful contacts, easy entrance to good first and second jobs and a graceful self-confidence.
Life isn't fair, we conclude. The old-fashioned version of all that is presented on "Downton Abbey." Icy Lady Mary makes us feel deep sympathy for hard-working Peggy Olson from "Mad Men."
Then we also encounter those for whom pedigree seems to have created a liability. At the top of the list is Thomas Gilbert, Jr. Allegedly he murdered his father who wanted to reduce his allowance. Once we know the type, it's a piece of cake to identify others who had it all and then got stuck or worse.
The worse includes suicide or earnest attempts at that. Recently on my radar appeared a middle-aged man who is losing his ability to navigate life. As with Gilbert, his father pays his bills. His elite education hasn't yielded a good job. Lately he can't even hold on to survival jobs. And, as in the film "Carnal Knowledge," his relationships have become lap dances and paid time with escorts.
Does the lack of pedigree create the mandate to grow up? Is that why the lion's share of ordinary people don't make headlines?