Individuals still have choice, and many are led astray by things that happened to them in life or as a result of compounded bad choices.. Was your sister molested when young? That seems to be a big one the fallen angels use to ruin human lives as I had an aunt in my own family that fell victim. However, one particular example doesn't take away from the point Dr. Sowell was making about environment and hard work. In this life there really is no substitute to hard work whether in school or in your career. Many people that don't succeed are that way because they didn't put in the work and/or didn't have parents who required them to put in the early educational work. But its never too late unless you're content to live off others stolen income.