First Year Experience
61 Sever Street
Worcester, Ma 01609
There is no one moment or event in life that determines the rest of its outcome. People make thousands of decisions every single day, each one slightly altering some future outcome. For this reason, it is difficult to predict where one might be in ten years. Therefore, the only thing that can slightly mold one’s future is guidance. Of course, guidance is a road with a forked path as it can lead one through a life of crime and immorality or it can lead one through a life of success and happiness. In the novel The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore, the reader gets to see what leads two individuals down each of the aforementioned paths.
Throughout The Other Wes Moore the reader follows the lives of two boys who grew up in the same city with the same name and with similar situations, later showing how their paths diverge. It is clear that a major factor in the changing of the boys’ paths was family influence. Both boys did not have father figures in their lives so they had to rely on guidance from their mothers and siblings. Wes Moore (the author) grew up in a household in which he was the only man. Wes has an older, half-sister, Nikki, but she was seven years older than Wes and was therefore unable to provide him with much guidance in his teenage years (as she was independent). Wes’s mother, Joy, was working multiple jobs in order to better support her son and grant him every opportunity that she could. With Wes left to fend for himself in a bad, drug-ridden neighborhood, his chances of having a successful future seemed questionable. Finally, in an attempt to change Wes’s outcome, Joy put him into military school. Although Wes initially despised the idea, the school grew on him, molding him into a responsible, respectful young adult. The Other Wes Moore, in contrast, did not have the same type of family guidance. The Other Wes’s mother, Mary, was also working long hours to provide for her family, leaving Other Wes alone with his older brother, Tony, for extended periods of time. Tony, although being wrapped up in the drug game, insisted that Other Wes never get involved. Other Wes didn’t take this advice and began to get involved in order to make some quick cash. Tony was Other Wes’s role model and so to young Other Wes, there was nothing wrong with being a little like his brother. Further worsening Other Wes’s situation, his mother refused to believe that her son was involved with the drug game. Due to her negligence, Other Wes was never whipped into shape and kept digging himself into a deeper hole. It seems obvious that the two boys’ paths began to diverge when their mothers took notice of what was going on. Wes Moore’s mother took action, sending her son to military school as she saw no other way to help her son. Other Wes’s mother had been told that her son was involved in the drug game yet failed to act, leaving her son to make his own, poor decisions.
The Other Wes Moore, being a work of non-fiction, can easily be related to as every human being in the world at one point has had their life guided in a certain direction by someone or something. I personally have experienced situations in which this theme has applied. Perhaps the most pertinent situation where this applied was when I was around four or five years old. My mother was extremely involved with my growing up during early life. She worked from home and always kept my sister and I occupied with a strict schedule. Before I even reached the age where I would be attending school, I had a good idea of how to organize myself and my daily events as I had been doing so with my mother for years. Because of this ingrained organizational skill that I possessed, I have been able to organize and prioritize the work that I received in school, allowing me to be a successful student throughout the years as a result of my mother’s intervention with my life. Without her guidance, it is very possible that I could have been somewhere else entirely at this point in my life.
My mother, Lisa, also read The Other Wes Moore and had a very similar, albeit more personal reaction to the novel’s theme than I did. Although her situation with raising children was entirely different from the situations faced by Mary and Joy, it still hit close to home as she is fully aware of the struggles of raising children. As a result of her experience with raising two children, my mother feels “that family intervention is the number one thing that set the stage for Wes’s redirection toward the path of success. Had his mother not made the rash decision to remove her son from his current situation and place him in military school, then he may have ended up in the prison cell next to the Other Wes.” My mother strongly believes that children need to have guidance from the very beginning so that they can feel secure about what comes next, thus making them feel like they are a part of something. If we are given direction then we can know what to expect from our actions and learn what we must accomplish to obtain our desires, thereby allowing us to focus on our future and the important events that will get us there. My mother clearly believes in the importance of family influence on the journeys and futures of developing children and young adults and is, herself, a prime example of a mother doing what she must in order to point her children, my sister and I, in the right direction.
The Other Wes Moore is not the only example of a novel where the importance of family influence is stressed. In the novel, The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of young boys find themselves stranded on an island after a plane crash with no adults around to govern. The boys are left to make their own decisions and quickly things take a turn for the worse. Without any family influence, the boys start to become savage – enjoying blood, gore, and lack of civilized life. In this way, the importance of family guidance is emphasized because without it the children did not have a path to follow, and thus became vicious and cruel. In The Other Wes Moore, Other Wes Moore did not have a path to follow, and although he didn’t become savage, he lost his ability to decipher right from wrong and eventually became an accomplice to murder just years after being arrested for attempted murder.
Although both Wes Moore’s grew up in a bad neighborhood, it is not necessarily the setting that steers a person’s outcome, but instead it is those with whom said person is involved with. In The Other Wes Moore both Wes Moore’s felt the need to fit in, and thus, they both displayed poor behaviors in order to look “tough” or “cool” around their friends. Of course, these behaviors escalate as time progresses to the point where some other influence must change the person’s path. For this reason it becomes clear that if one is to take the path of success and happiness, family influence and guidance are a must, because if they are not present, then the person will continue down the same path, digging themselves a pit from which they may never escape.
From the beginning of your life there are many things that determine what your story will be. If it will be one of success, one of loss, one of hardship, or one of triumph. The decisions you make, the people who influence you, and the experiences you have all shape what your life will become. Reading The Other Wes Moore I realized that everyone has the potential to be something great and everyone has the potential to fall. Why do people turn out the way they do? Why do so many people from similar backgrounds, similar family structures, and similar parts of the world end up in completely different places in their life? As I said, your decisions, the people who surround you, and your experiences will shape your life. I know they shaped mine.
The people who surround you influence your decisions, your actions, your beliefs, and your life. The people you love along with the people you hate will help determine what your life becomes. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean they will influence you in a positive way. The people who are the closest to us can lift us up, but they can just as easily tear us down. Not only do the people closest to us influence our lives but our teachers, coworkers, or even a stranger on the street have the potential to change us and our path. Wes’s mother, Joy, constantly sacrificed to try to make a better life for her children. She moved to the Bronx so she could have the support of her family. She tried to protect her children from the drugs, the violence, the gangs, the danger that came along with living in the Bronx. She worked tirelessly to send Wes to a good school. Despite her best efforts, Wes was still on the wrong track. Then Joy insisted that Wes attend military school. Even though Wes resisted at first, military school is where he first began to flourish. Things would only get better for him from there. Without Joy's decision to send Wes to military school, he might have ended up exactly where the Other Wes is, or worse. Wes’s mother was not the only important person who influenced him. His fellow cadets, teachers, and advisers, all helped him along his journey. Without his college adviser at Valley Forge suggesting Johns Hopkins, and without Paul White being an advocate for Wes, he might be in a very different place in his life.
People can have a positive influence on our lives, but they can just as easily have a negative one. The perfect example is Tony. He obviously loved his brother very much. He warned Wes to stay away from the world he had fallen into. But despite his best efforts, Wes fell into the exact same world, the world that would land him in prison serving a life sentence for murder. Perhaps if Tony had listened to his own advice, he could have been a positive role model for Wes. Wes obviously had potential and maybe Tony could have helped his brother become something great.
On my path, there have been many people who have influenced my life. Without my mother providing unconditional love, support, and encouragement I don’t know where I would be. Also, one of my best friends, Jeff has been there for me to provide support, encouragement, kindness, and laughter. Even though for part of our friendship we lived hundreds of miles apart we were very close and we found ways to visit with each other despite the distance. Without these people I would not have been able to accomplish all of the things I have today.
The experiences that we go through can have just as much influence on our path as the people who surround us. Without the experience of military school, of receiving a higher education, of joining the military, Wes would not have learned discipline, responsibility, determination and many other qualities that created a Rhodes Scholar, a White House Fellow, and a decorated veteran. Wes’s experiences led him to become a better person, to make something of himself, and to help others. Just like the people in our lives can have a positive or a negative influence on our life, our experiences can either help us spread our wings and fly or they can clip our wings, leaving us trapped on the ground. The Other Wes became involved in the drug world at a very young age, he was a teen dad, and he struggled with the decision to either stay in the drug arena and be able to support his family, or to choose a path that was less dangerous and more wholesome but fight everyday to put food on the table. He saw how drugs affected people firsthand, and that is why, at one point he tried to get away from it all. Wes was smart, he had the potential to better his life, and for a while he did. But when he faced hardship, he turned back to a life filled with drugs and violence. Maybe if the Other Wes had been able to experience something other than violence and drugs, he would have been able to stay on the right path.
I have had my share of hardship, as well as success and happiness. I have been able to experience many things. I have been able to see new places and meet new people. I am grateful for that. All of those experiences helped lead me on my path, but one experience in particular changed my life forever. One Sunday afternoon last July I had just come back from a great day with my family. I went and sat on the couch, took out my phone, and I started going through my messages and facebook. I sat there stunned for a good twenty minutes looking through message after message saying “RIP Jeff,” “You will be missed,” “You will never be forgotten.” I couldn’t believe it. Finding out that someone I was so close to was gone forever, especially finding out over the phone and facebook, is a feeling I will never forget. I think the reason Jeff and I were so close is because we were both determined and driven to accomplish our goals. We were both active members of our schools as well as our communities. We enjoyed learning new things and traveling to new places. I graduated at the top of my class and he would have as well. Despite being determined and successful in high school, I was simply planning to go to community college to stay close to home. I knew I could do better for myself. I am not saying in any way that community college isn’t a great option for some people, but for me deep down, I knew it wasn’t the right choice. I was doing it because it was something familiar. After Jeff passed away, it made me reevaluate my life completely. It made me realize that you only have one life and that life can be cut horrifically short in a matter of seconds. Jeff had been accepted to Yale. He was so happy and so excited. But he never got the chance to experience something new, something different from what he had always known. It was then that I knew I couldn’t just go to community college in the same town I was familiar with and comfortable in. I knew I needed a change, a challenge. I needed to be somewhere where I would be stimulated, where I could reach my full potential. That’s when I searched for and found Becker College. Even though losing Jeff was one of the greatest losses of my life, his death changed me, it changed my path for the better. And for that I will always be grateful.
The people we surround ourselves with and the experiences in our lives will influence who we become. But when it comes down to it, we each ultimately control our own fate. We make our own decisions. We can have all the love, encouragement, support and opportunities in the world and still end up like the Other Wes has. We can also come from the most disadvantaged of backgrounds and wind up where Wes has. What we do with the support, the love, the encouragement we receive and experiences we have is what ultimately determines our fate. Wes could have gone to military school and come out still undetermined and confused. The Other Wes could have pushed past the influence of drugs and money. He had it in him, and he proved that when he went back to school and got a job. He could have become something great. Even after Jeff’s death, I could have simply gone to community college in the same town I was familiar with, not challenging myself, not experiencing something new. But I decided to get out of my comfort zone. I decided to do something new, something challenging, something exciting, because he never got to.
The people in our lives and the things we experience will help lead us on our path. The people in our lives can either help us or hurt us. Our experiences can either open a whole other world for us to grow and thrive in or they can box us in, trapped from ever being able to reach our full potential. But no matter how supportive or destructive the people in our lives may be, no matter if you experience hardship or success, it is what you decide, what you do that will change your life. The world can help you along your path, but only you can completely control where it will take you.
The Other Wes Moore was a book I found rather enjoyable with a few key life lessons that I have already taken the time to apply to my own life. Growing up in a quiet town, drug violence and gang activity was something that was not as prominent as it was in the book for the two Wes's. With this being said, however; there has been a fair share of drug activity, and I have watched how this has affected one of my close friends. For anyone, family plays a large role in upbringing, just as family was a major theme in the book, and an influence on both of the Wes's. Family can either give you the push in the right direction, or it can be your downfall if you choose to fall into the dark footsteps that you have watched a family member take.
Luckily for Wes and Wes, they had strong mothers who wanted the best of them. Unfortunately for one of them, his mother was not enough to pull him out of the destructive life he was creating for himself. This book showed me just how important family can be when you are at your worst and need to be put back in your place, or when you just need a shoulder to cry on. As one of the major themes in the book, family was depicted as something that becomes a brick wall between all that is evil in this world. However, it can also become a bridge to a dark world if a family member chooses the wrong path to follow. Wes's mother still loved him through all the gang and drug violence, showing what true unconditional love is. She could have turned away from him at any point in time but she only wanted what was best for him, trying her hardest to bring him back to a better path. This book accurately showed what a mother is willing to do for her children, and how true love for someone can make a significant impact on their life.
My mother is a very influential person in my life. Of course as teenagers growing up in this world, we think we know enough without our parents, and often take what they do for us for granted. My mother is a strong woman, raising her children basically as a single mother receiving little to zero help from my father, who was more concerned with what he was drinking then driving his kids home safely from practice. She was always the wall for me and my brother trying to shield us from the destructive path that my father had decided to take. It wasn't until a few years ago that I knew exactly who my father was. When I was younger, my dad was my favorite because he would take me to the toy stores on the weekends when my mom was sleeping after a long night working as a critical care nurse. My mom was someone who would scold me for not cleaning my room or washing behind my ears. Little did I know just how much she was doing for me, and how she was trying to raise me into a responsible and well rounded individual. I still have a long way to go and even though I don't want her help sometimes, I know that it is what I need to set my feet in the right direction and excel in school and in my future career, just as one of the Wes's mothers succeeded in doing for him. There were things he did not agree with, such as going to military school, but it shows just how much a mother is willing to sacrifice for the sake of her children.
To explore deeper into how family affects youths, I asked a good friend of mine a couple questions about how drugs affected him. I started the interview based around his family, but then soon learned that he had actually dealt with his problems independently, setting his own goals and realizing the damage he could do to his life. John grew up in the ideal family setting with a mother and father who were both employed and able to take care of both him and his sister. When his parents got divorced, he began to smoke more marijuana, began stealing his mother’s prescribed percosets, and he started taking a heavy dosage of Adderol to relieve the stress as his family life was crumbling around him:
When you were younger what was your family life like? “It was awesome, picture perfect. We were an average family with good money, two kids, and both parents. My father did drink a lot but it didn’t really affect me, it wasn’t a big deal to me; he wanted to get drunk, he can get drunk
Growing up with this did you believe you were going to complete school and go to college? Were your parents good role models? “I didn’t really know anything else that was just kind of the way life was.”
Besides your father drinking was there any other negative influence family had on you that caused you to taking drugs? “I found my dad’s bag of weed in a toolbox and laughed at the idea at first but then I started smoking about a year later. My sister was just smoking and drinking. But I would go home and when I found my mom’s Vicodin and Oxycodon and that was a downhill spiral… I still was just looking to get high.”
Was there anyone in your family that you had personally watched suffer through drug addiction? “No one in my family but in general being a kid in this world you kind of learn these things about people. You know about people who pop pills to get high and at this point I was two, three years a stoner. So knowing these things and not being able to smoke at the program, pills are discrete, and curiosity definitely had a lot to do with it.”
In The Other Wes Moore, there were family members who were trying to pull their sons, or relatives from a life of drugs and failure. Did you have anyone to pull you away? “There was one girl who wanted me to stop but she didn’t try too hard to pull me from it because I was that bad***. It was pretty much the luck of the draw. I mentioned the 4/20 thing I honestly think if it wasn’t coming soon and I wasn’t getting discharged from the program it wouldn’t have made me realize I should stop. But at the same time, I needed a tool to fix my basketball hoop and my life has never been the same ever since. It works both ways. I probably would have been addicted to perks if I wasn’t a cigarette smoker, where I already knew what it was like to be addicted to something.” Throughout all of this he really had no support from his family because no one else knew about what he was going through. He has been independent for practically his entire life after being pulled from his mom, and running from program after program. His childhood came with parental support but this soon faded after the divorce, and after John was pulled by the government from his home. Little to zero family influence forces independence, such as what was seen in John’s story with no parental figure to block drugs and negativity to try to give their child the best and cleanest life possible.
There is no right amount of pressure a parent can put on a child. When too much pressure to succeed is placed, a child can either rebel or obey all of their parents’ requests. One family in The Other Wes Moore pushed their son to military school for a better future, while one followed in the footsteps of his derelict brother. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, this progression of behavior through a family is seen through one family, while the other shows the separation a man must take to succeed. To compare the two stories: One Wes follows his brother into a life of drug and gang activity, and the Ewells are a family who did not care about education or a proper living environment while keeping cleanliness in check. The other Wes became a successful college graduate after previously struggling in school and Atticus Finch moved away from his childhood home and became a lawyer living with a high paying job. In contrast; however, the families in each story suffered a different ridicule by the neighborhood; due to being on opposite sides of the political system. Wes Moore was on the stand, while Atticus Finch was doing the questioning; both working through their problems in a different way, with their family to back them up, or bring them down.
Family is a large part of anyone’s life whether there is a strong connection, or a weak and faulted bond. It is a major shaping tool of our own lives, creating us to be reliant or independent on them, and giving us a path to walk on or stray from.
Life isn't as black and white as people may think. Many people forget that at the end of the day we have to make our own choices and live with the impacts we receive from them. In Wes Moore's book, he explains how the choices he and the other Moore made truly made a difference in their futures. He walked us through their lives, showing us the real consequences of poor decisions and the wonderful rewards of good ones. Our decisions define our futures.
In the story, the other Moore made very poor decisions and this lead to the downfall of his entire life. As a child, Moore had a temper, but never once did he try control it.When he was younger, another child he was playing with punched him in the face. He immediately ran home. Instead of staying home, relaxing and continue to think over what had happened, once he stepped inside he grabbed a knife and ran back out. Blatantly ignoring the police car that had just pulled up, Moore continued to look for the other child and planning to make him suffer. He decided to let his anger be in control, the first of many bad decisions. His second poor decision was going against his brother's wishes and getting involved with the drug game. He started out small, but he then quickly worked his way through the ranks, submerging himself deeper and deeper into the game. If he listened to his brother he would have finished school. He was intelligent and could have gotten far in life, maybe even gone to college. All these poor decisions led him to feel overwhelmed and trapped. When he had the option to rob the jewelry store he may have felt as if he had no options left, causing him to yet again make another poor decision. This decision led him to prison for the rest of his life. Making poor decisions drastically changed the other Moore's future. After Moore was found guilty he began to think, “Early losses condition you to believe that short-term plans are always smarter. Now Wes's mind wander to the long term for the first time. Finally, he could see his future” (Moore 157). The other Moore never really cared about the future and always made his decisions in the spur of the moment. Unfortunately he learned that one should never forget about the future, when it was too late.
Although Moore's decision had a harsh consequences, the author made better decisions, which led to a better future. When Moore was young, he was faced with a few cruel teenagers who began harassing him and his friend Dalio. The pair had been walking down the street to get pizza when these bullies began physically and verbally harassing them. Moore thought for a moment that he may want to fight back and teach them that he shouldn't be messed with, but he knew better. He knew he had no advantage in the situation, and it was best if he didn't interfere. He had received this mindset from listening to his mother when he begged her to take him home from military school. If he had continued to fight her and managed to get home he may have continued to had that thought process of having to show the world who is the toughest. If he had decided to fight that night he could have gotten really hurt, or worse. He made better and better decisions as he aged, deciding to go to college as well as go into the army. He kept on a scrupulous path and ended up having extremely wonderful experience with different cultures and people. through all this he learned a valuable lesson, “Life's impermanence, [he] realized, is what makes every single day so precious. It's what shapes our time here” (Moore 133). By making good decisions he learned that there are consequences in life and if he didn't watch what choice in life he made, he may no longer have had a future.
In my life, just like everyone else, I had decisions I had to make and I didn't always pick the best options. I had a difficult time in my life where my mother's relationship with my stepfather was unstable so he was constantly in and out of our lives. Because of this, I had to step up my game and assume the role of a parent when he wasn't around. I had three little siblings who all needed clean clothes, diaper changes, and someone to feed them lunch whenever my mother was busy. I learned quickly how to tend to children and I slowly but surely gained the mindset of a parent and felt responsible for them. Whenever things would get unstable my father would beg me to come live with him, but every time I refused. I felt as if I couldn't abandoned my siblings, almost as if I was their mother. This battle went on for two more years until finally I was failing half my classes and my mother couldn't afford electricity My father pulled me out of my mother’s home, and my siblings moved in with my aunt and stepfather a few towns over. I didn't leave until the last possible moment because I didn't want to abandon them. It was a poor decision for my own welfare because my grades suffered and I was afraid when college came around, no one would even want to accept me. If I had left earlier and been a little more selfish, I may have received more scholarships and I wouldn’t be bombarded with student loans. I was never concerned with my future, I was only concerned if there would be someone there to make the dinner and kiss my siblings goodnight.
One of my friends, Laura, was faced with the option of joining Marching Band and she says that saying yes was the best decision of her life. Through Marching Band she was able to make many new friends and gain much confidence in herself. She felt like a new and improved person. Marching Band gave her the strength to do things that before she would have thought she couldn't have done. With this newly found confidence she was able to bring herself to go to college. She didn't want to go before because it was expensive and she was afraid of going into such a drastic change of environment, but this one decision changed her outlook on life. It also gave her the strength to meet her father again, a man she hasn't seen since she was 8. It was a grey area for her because she had such conflicting feelings on why he left and why he never visited her, but with this confidence she realized none of it was her fault and that she was strong enough to confront him with that. She wouldn't have been able to get over these milestones if she hadn’t decided to join Marching Band.
One last person whose life was truly changed by their decisions was R.P. McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. McMurphy was sent to prison for assault but didn't want to spend his sentence in jail. He decided he was going to fool the mental health officer into letting him spend his time in a nearby mental ward. This was the first of his mistakes. He didn't know what he was getting himself into and winded up losing everything because of this one decision. He also only made it worse when he got there. He broke numerous rules trying to overpower the staff, and in the end, winded up getting one of his new friends to commit suicide, and extending his sentence. He didn't realize he didn’t have a set time when he would be released, but he would have to convince the Nurse that he was healthy. Because he kept breaking the rules, the Nurse winded up getting him into Shock Therapy and even a lobotomy when he honestly didn't need it. If he had obeyed the rules, or even simply just did his time in jail he would have had this problem. He could have simply just gone back to his normal life. Now though because of his poor decisions he will no longer be able to live a normal life.
People everywhere have decisions to make every single day of their lives. They may not realize it but all of these decisions will impact their lives one way or another. Moore show us with his story that in life your decisions will impact you and if they are bad, they will have consequences. We can see it in numerous pieces of literature, in movies, and in our own lives. Choice does matter. There is no set path in life, only the one who makes the choices can determine their own lives and whatever choice they make will always stay with them. Life isn't a video game. It's impossible to just restart from the last checkpoint. Choices stick with the person wherever they go and no matter what they do.
Wes Moore, one name shared by two different people, born in the same neighborhood, and has chosen two different fates in this world. Both Wes Moore’s went through indurated childhoods with no fathers, one couldn’t be there, and the other decided not to be there. Along with the struggle, they both had tough times making a living because of their choices. However, one of them was forced into military school, and the other only followed through on his choices, leading himself into disaster. Two people on this blue marble, shares one name, but latched onto two fates.
From reading this book and getting to know more about Wes Moore and the other Wes Moore, my life isn’t as bad as it seems. With them growing up in worse locations than Hartford, Connecticut, they had to grow up back then with none of the latest technology, none of the latest fashion. They had to grow up around whatever they had. Unlike me, I got what I wanted, when it was my birthday, when it was Christmas, or if I was a good student in school. I, myself, stayed in school to make my mother and my older brother proud of me. I’ve always wanted them to be happy for everything that I’ve done. Even though I’ve received the items that I wanted when I was good, I still had the same personalities as Both Wes Moore’s to an extent. I would be like The Other Wes Moore and would have that young personality to where I would want things and I would do anything for it. But I couldn’t deal with drugs; I wanted to earn these things the right way. And at the same time as I grew up, I became more like Wes Moore and have manners and have some respect for everyone. In fact, one thing that we all share in common is the idea that we grew up in poverty. We had nothing, and based on my life, my mom forced me to act right and be more open. However, it was my own choice to do well in school and get an education. Unfortunately, my life isn’t at the point where I wanted it to be, comfortable, and successful. Plus I won’t be able to do military service or any type of service for that matter because of my asthma and my flat feet. It’s truly a struggle knowing for the fact that I cannot play basketball for too long, or that I can’t even stand or walk for too long as well or else my feet are going to give me so much pain. Rather than spending my nights dealing with drugs, or dealing with military school, I have to deal with my nights stressing and crying over the fact that my feet gave me so much pain. When I played basketball and soccer during my freshman year, when I tried out football during my sophomore year, and when I started to work at Burger King and Target as well. Because of my flat feet, and because of my career choice of becoming a graphic designer and freelance designer, I can sit all day and maybe walk around for a little. But still, Wes Moore decided to be successful and happy with what he has. The Other Wes Moore has an unfortunate life of living in prison because of his actions. Between the three of us, we have all lived such difficult lives in which we tried the best that we can. However, I still have a chance at becoming successful by going through college and deciding what to do for the rest of my life.
Everyone is different now and days, and that’s what makes the world go round. And when it comes to reading books, there can be lots of opinions and discussions. I didn’t know anyone close that would take the book seriously besides my own mother. She has been there for me to take good care of me, just like both Wes Moore’s mothers. And from when I asked her about the theme of this book, it hit me that the three of us also grew up without a father, however, my father decided to do what he wanted to do, all because he doesn’t care about me or my family. Overall, what my mother thinks about the book is that I’ve should’ve read this book when I was younger because I would’ve then thought more about how grateful I am and should be. Which is true, ever since I read this book, I have thought about how lucky I am in life. I may have not been forced to military school, or I decided to avoid my mother and do what I wanted to do, but she does state that this book gives life lessons on the struggles and difficulties that are worse than what most people go through in this blue marble. Sure there are people with cancer and know that they won’t live long, or the fact that they can’t even eat for days on end. So all in all, we should be grateful that we don’t live horrible and such stressful lives to where we would want to commit suicide, or we would regret for the things out there. When my mother told me about her thoughts and opinions about this, I already understood and I already took it in mind because I know that’s how I should be; thankful for everything and take advantage of everything that has happened in my life, whether good or bad. Even though I cannot stand, walk, or run, for long, I still decide to do what I need to do to make a living out there.
Now I cannot lie, I don’t know much information about any other books that would compare to this book. But however, I can compare certain situations and what not towards this amazing book. I remember reading this old book a long time ago and then I had to reread the book again for class/my own entertainment as much as I don’t read in general. The book is called “The Watsons go to Birmingham 1963,” and I would have to say it was probably my tops favorite nonfiction books because I’ve always had an interest on history and how it affects us today, slavery was only solved about forty years ago, and people still have problems with different races being in this great country that we live in. And the Watsons have dealt with so much during the year of 1963, with a church being destroyed with two young daughters killed because of who they are. Basically, it is the idea that these two books share the common idea of struggling through poverty and life in general. Maybe the few things that separate the two are that the Watsons had both a mother and a father, but they were still poor because of their choices. And both Wes Moore’s had to deal with no father, although Wes Moore was harassed because of his skin color and had a rock thrown at him during his military school session.
All in all, this book shows the problems and outcomes of when two people have the same name, and born in the same neighborhood, but decides to go through two different paths, some had similarities and some had differences. But still, this book gives life lessons on poverty, respect, lifelong choices, and the stress they had to deal with, and it could be something that we all have to deal with.
By Wes Moore
As you prepare for your first semester at Becker, we would like to challenge you to improve your reading skills. Reading-like any sport, talent, passion, or skill you are trying to perfect–requires practice. The more you read, the better skill set you can develop and the better prepared you will be for the rigor of college writing.
Every first year student will be required to read The Other Wes Moore prior to the start of the fall semester. There will be a quiz on the themes of the book and extensive discussion in your First Year Experience course. Discussions surrounding the book will also be held during New Student Orientation when you come to campus in the fall, as well as an assignment in your English Composition course. As a result, it is crucial to read the book before coming to Becker in August.
You will receive a free copy of the book during summer orientation. This is your copy, so feel free to make notes and mark up the book as you identify important themes, quotes, and discussion topics in the book. Please bring the book with you when you come to your English and First Year Experience courses this fall.
Two kids with the same name, living in the same city. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison for felony murder. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore.
Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?
That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that has lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they’d hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices and the people in their lives would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.
Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a challenging and at times, hostile world.
More information about the book, including an interview with the author, can be found at theotherwesmoore.com.
For more information, please contact:
Director of First Year Experience