Triumphing over adversity

My parents, despite fairly awful childhoods (the Depression, abandonment, Nazis, internment, major battles) did pretty darn well.  They lived normal lives, raised children, made a lovely home, etc.  Lots of people do that, which may be why I’m confused about why we in America make so many excuses for disadvantaged kids, allowing them to fail, rather than expecting them to succeed anyway.  I thought of this when I heard this NPR story about the amazingly successful Ping Fu, and the extreme adversity that marked her childhood in China during the Cultural Revolution.