The Other Wes Moore

TheOther Wes Moore

Thebook &quot: One Name, Two Fates&quot presentstwo boys named Moore, who grew in similarBaltimore neighborhoods but haddifferent achievements in life. The book explores the lives of thetwo boys Moore and the other referred as “The other Moore.” OneMoore, grew to be an educated RhodesScholar, went to military school,and became a decoratedveteran and a successfulbusinessman. On the other hand, the other Moore grew to be a criminalwho was wanted for killing a cop and was jailed. Moore soughcorrespondence with the other Moore while he was in jail and gives anaccount of their two lives in this inspiring and educative book. Thediscussion of this paper illustrates that the neighborhoodenvironment and the family support are the main factors thatinfluence the achievements of a person in life.

Peopleare products of the influence of the environment and not the productof the environment. According to Moore (96), the physical environmentdoes not matter much, what matters is the influence of his mind. Forexample, Moore lived in a Baltimoreneighborhood which was the sameneighborhood as that of the other Moore. Moore (96) argues that hismother instilled an attitude of achievement, which made him morefocus on the chances he had in life. This is what he calls apsychological environment. According to Moore (96), he succeededbecause he was in a better psychological rather than physicalenvironment that instills a sense of success in him.

Inthis regard, Moore states “That`s when I started to understand thatI was in a different environment. Not simply because I was in themiddle of Pennsylvania instead of the Bronx or Baltimore. It was adifferent psychological environment, where my normal expectationswere inverted, where the leadership was honored and class clowns wereostracized&quot (Moore 96).

Peopleare products of their own potential that is implanted in each andevery human being. The potential of each and every person is in whathe believes he can achieve and the expectations that are laid uponhim by the family or people around him. For Moore, the family wassupportive and influenced his attitude to that of success despite theharsh conditions they lived in. Moore gives an example of theignorant decisions that children make. Moore (178) says when peopleare young the outside world seems like nonexistent beyond theneighborhood people live, the house or the room. He further givesexplains that people at this stage make decisions that are based ontheir understanding and not the understanding of the environment theylive in (Moore 178).

Thegenetics do not determine the achievements of people in life.According to Moore (133), life is determined by what a person wantsto achieve in life. He states that personal goals are what makes anindividual live every day to utilize his or her time well. Mooresays, “Life’simpermanence, I realized, is what makes every single day so precious.It’s what shapes our time here. It’s what makes it so importantthat not a single moment be wasted” (Moore 133).&nbspThis showsthat the genetics do not matter, what matters is the pursuit of thepersonal potential that is in each and every human being.

Throughthe book, Moore seeks to show that each one of them had a possibilityof living a good life or the bad life. The fact that their differentstories were recorded in the same newspaper shows that they had thepotential to live either of the lives they lived. Moore states, &quotThechilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy isthat my story could have been his&quot (Moore 180). After realizingthat the events happened the same day, and they come from the samelocality, he takes the initiative of exploring more similaritiesbetween him and the other Moore. This shows the book sought to showthe similarities and not the differences even though the differencesare more pronounced.

Afamily plays a role of providing hope for a successful life tochildren as they grow. The hope for better life is essential in thedetermination of what children want to achieve. More significantly,the family should give hope to young people raised in ghettos andgang infested neighborhoods. Moore states that the neighborhood theylived in was a ghetto that was full of drugs and crime. Anotherexample is what Moore gives of how the family of the other Moore leftto be exposed to ghetto life of crime. Moore says that he lived in aghetto where he would see people line up in lines for drugs (Moore138). This shows how the other Moore was exposed to the ghetto lifethat did not give him any hope.

Onthe other hand, Moore was sent to school for education so that hecould live away from the influence of the ghetto. This shows thatchildren from families who can afford education are more likely toachieve higher professional success. A good example is how henarrates his mother sending him way, a thing he did not expect (Moore87). At this juncture, it is worth to consider what would havehappened to the other Moore if he was given such a chance. Accordingto Moore, this could have been him, if he was not given the chance byhis mother. A good example of the situation is when Moore says thatthe life of the other moor could as well have been his.

Therole of the family is also highlighted as that of giving unlimitedchances to their children. The difference between Moore and the otherMoore is the chances and opportunities they were exposed to. Mooregives an example of the second chance he was given by his mother tobe sent to military school after successive failures in school. Thisshows that children who are sent to school and finish their educationachieve more achievements in life. Moore further gives an example ofthe chances that each of them had in life. To illustrate further,Moore states, “Andboth of us had second chances, but if the situation or the contextswhere you make the decisions don’t change (Moore 66).

Allthese factors affect the personal growth in different ways. However,the main effect is stated in the quotation of Moore about theexpectations. According to Moore, the environment shapes our destinyby influencing the expectations that are laid upon us. Moore statesthat,

“Doyou think we’re all products of our environments? …….‘I thinkso, or maybe products of our expectations,’ Other’s expectationsor expectations of ourselves? ‘I mean others’ expectations thatyou take on as your own.’ I realized then how difficult it is toseparate the two. The expectations that others place on us, help usform our expectations of ourselves” (Moore 126).

Fromthe book, the account of the life of Moore and the other Moore showsthe influence of neighborhood environment and family support to thelife of a person. The differences between the two were the type ofexpectations that were formed by the difference in the family supportthey received. The neighborhood they were raised from was the samebut the kind of support they received from their families dictatedthe lives they led. This enumerates the role of family and socialsupport structures towards supporting children to grow to theirpotential.


Moore,Wes. TheOther Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates.New York: Spiegel &amp Grau, 2011, Print