Book No. 13 – The Other Wes Moore

27 Sep

I just finished this book and am FORCING myself to sit down and right this blog RIGHT NOW so I don’t keep putting it off for an extra week. This book is a memoir about 2 boys with the same name (Wes Moore) growing up in Baltimore, Maryland only a couple blocks away from each other. This books tells the story of two boys who each struggled a lot in their childhoods and had pretty much the same experiences except that one ended up in jail whereas the other ended up a war veteran and Rhodes Scholar. This book gave me a clear understanding of how important the choices we make are and how every single choice we make will shape our futures. Wes #1 made many bad decisions in his life, joined a gang, got into drugs, had children he couldn’t provide for, got arrested and he always thought he would have a second chance, a third chance and so on. But what he failed to realize is that there is a huge difference between another chance and your last chance. Eventually, his luck ran out like a cat on life nine. He was busted for a robbery where a man was killed and Wes Moore was sentenced to life in prison. Wes #2 made many of the same horrible decisions as well. He got into the drug scene and got arrested but rather than waiting for his last chance, he took control of his life by going to a military academy and eventually graduating with honors from college. 2 parallel lives, 2 life changing decisions… one life saved, one life lost. Sometimes when you are in a situation, you can’t see things clearly. You only see what you want to see, and you can’t see what consequences and regret might come with your actions. And every action in this life will bear a consequence – good or bad. But anyways, it’s just crazy to think that these two boys grew up in the same neighborhood, same age, same obstacles, same family life, but because of the CHOICES each one made, their lives turned out completely opposite of each other. Makes you wonder about your own life and your own choices. If you could go back and change just one thing about your life, would you? I’ve grown up with parents who love to lecture… constantly. So, I am told at least 10 times a week how important the choices I make are and how they will affect my whole life. No pressure. As a young adult there is this huge pressure on us to become something that makes our parents proud. And I don’t care who you are, we all want our parents to be proud of us. Although, many of us are too proud to admit it, deep down we want our parents acceptance and we want them to be proud of our decisions and our life path. My parents are constantly telling me that the two most important decisions I will ever make in my life are 1. My profession and 2. The person I will marry. They are always talking about the end product. The goal that needs to be reached. But what’s more important? What we become or how we become it? Does it really matter that I get a college degree if I cheat my way through passing? Does it really matter that I get a fancy job, if the only reason I got it is because of my fathers connections? What is life truly about? The end product or the journey you take and the choices you make to get there? Well, yes the end product is obviously what most people look at first but the journey is what truly defines a person. It’s the journey, NOT the destination. The moments in our lives make us who we are. The choices we make dictate our futures. Our only saving grace is that we can learn from them and if it’s not too late, we can fix the mistakes we have made with the time we have left. If only, Wes Moore had realized this sooner. If only, so many of us had realized this sooner. Our lives can be whatever we want them to be. We have the ability to shape them into what ever we want with the choices we make, but thats just it, none of us know what the hell we want. (Or is it just me? God I hope not.) And the hardest part is figuring out what you want out of life, figuring out what you want to become, figuring out who you are. Wes Moore #1 and Wes Moore #2 were both lost little boys falling into the same old habits of their peers and family members before them. They were both on the path to being high school drop outs, gang members, drug dealers, and most certainly jail birds. But only ONE of the Wes Moore’s actually turned out this way. The other one decided he wanted more from his life and with the love and support of his mother, he changed his life. So, what we can all learn from these two REAL LIFE experiences is that we really need to invest in our futures. We need to figure out what we want and go for it without restraint, without fear. We need to make sound decisions when it matters and make the right choices when it counts… but most importantly, never stop learning and never stop enjoying the roller coaster I call LIFE.



Taylor Jordan


One Response to “Book No. 13 – The Other Wes Moore”

  1. Harper Faulkner September 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Wow! Really good stuff.

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