Yesterday I finished reading Wes Moore’s book ‘The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates’. Each chapter was broken into two parts, going back and forth from each Wes’s perspective. Both men were born in the same Baltimore, Maryland neighborhood, their father figures being absent from their lives (one never met their father, the other lost his to a medical issue that was sadly treatable). For the first few years in their lives, both boys turned to the streets in search of a connection, forming close-knit friendships that served as a bond that was absent in their lives. As they got older, the connections made in their lives took them in the path that determined the deciding factor in their life journey. One became a successful Rhodes scholar and Army veteran, returning to serve the community in which he was raised. The other became ensnared in the drug trade, leading to an arrest and conviction for first-degree murder.
Reading ‘The Other Wes Moore’ brought into mind the environment in which I was raised. I was born and raised in an inner city in Northern New Jersey, living with a loving family with very little money. Things didn’t look too well when it came to obtaining assistance for higher education. My family encouraged me to take the steps necessary to apply for college. My high school counselor did little to support my decision, so I took care of the whole application process on my own. Once I got admitted into college, I took the steps needed to better my life.
My path in life could have gone differently if my family was not supportive of my choices in bettering my education/job situation. I believe that this was a large factor in why one Wes Moore was able to take the right path in life, while the other failed to progress. I enjoyed reading ‘The Other Wes Moore’, and I hope that I come across another book that focuses on people connecting with community in order to better their standing in life.