While many people perceive poverty to be a hindrance to accomplishing their desired milestones, other individuals view the aspect as an opportunity to become better and enhance the quality of their lifestyles. In this regard, understanding the changing needs of individuals requires one to observe how they adjust to situations and their process of making decisions whenever they encounter problems in their lives. In The Other Wes Moore, the author presents an exciting scenario where he captures the life of a man who shared his name. Throughout the book, the aspect of youth mentoring features prominently amidst an environment filled with poverty. While the author managed to rise above the situations presented to him by the poverty-stricken background, the other Wes Moore succumbed to the pressures of life with the hope of enhancing his experience and that of his family through criminal activities. The author’s family believed in quality education and committed to exposing him to a learning environment where he could accomplish his desired objectives. Coming from a family of graduates, the author had to continue with the family legacy. At the same time, the other Wes Moore embraced criminal activities to survive the tough situations presented to him. Poverty played a significant role in shaping men’s lives because of its impact on developing their perspectives towards interactions with other people.
In the world today, poverty contributes to the different outcomes witnessed in many families. Many households are broken because of their inability to break loose from the yoke of poverty. Despite the continuous belief that education opens up opportunities for success, many families are unable to cater for the costly programs offered by learning institutions in the U.S. and beyond. The author sets the stage to talk about the rollercoaster of emotions that young people go through in their attempts to overcome situations taking place in their immediate environment. In one instance, the author’s family is committed to ensuring that Wes completes his education and realizes his potential. On the other side, another family is struggling to take care of its basic needs before even thinking about educating their children. Despite the two men coming from poverty-stricken backgrounds, the ability to survive the life presented to them is influenced by the mentorship they had in their youthful stage (Sironi 110). For instance, the author’s mother encouraged him to study hard to unlock his potential. The other Wes’s mother failed to secure the Pell Grant, which limited her from furthering her studies and valuing education. In the two scenarios, the impact of poverty is seen to take a different approach because of the nature of inspiration and motivation the men received from individuals in their surroundings.
The author’s decision to establish contact with the other Wes was inspired by the need to discover the challenges his namesake might have experienced to end up in his current predicament. When he first wrote a letter to the other Wes in prison, he did not expect a response because of the level of familiarity the two lacked. However, when the other Wes responded to his letter, he was keen to meet with him in prison and initiate contact for a conversation that would encourage him to write this book. Reading a news article about a criminal circa involving the Other Wes in The Baltimore Sun brought back bitter memories to the author. While he is an established corporate mogul, the other Wes is serving time in prison because of his criminal acts. When trying to understand the effects of poverty and how they have shaped the lives of the two men, one can easily observe the limited choice the other Wes had compared to the author. While the author’s family motivated and encouraged him to study hard in school, the other Wes lacked a role model who could inspire him to rise above his situation.
The youthful stage is a difficult phase of life that exposes young people to a series of challenges that influence their perspectives and the nature of interactions with other people. With the right background, many young people excel in their adult life because of the nurturing process that molded them to become responsible citizens. However, when exposed to challenging scenarios described by poverty, it becomes impossible to change young people’s lives (Kazeem and John 870). In this book, the author shares his experience and compares it to that of Wes. Importantly, the author believes that the other Wes could have broken loose from the chains of poverty that hindered them from rising above Baltimore. Upon initiating contact with the Other Wes, the author interviews his family, that of the other Wes, and the other criminals to understand the aspects that led them to different paths in life. Coming from a privileged family in Baltimore, the author could not understand why Wes would choose drug life over his future. Even though his family cushioned him from challenges that could have affected his education, he learns the struggles encountered by his mother in providing for his needs.
Poverty is a problem that affects the globe because of its ability to limit growth and development. Many people affected by the adverse outcome believe in their abilities to excel in what is considered a healthy life by people who speak from the point of privilege. However, the situations affecting their immediate growth and development hinder them from exploring the different opportunities available in the world today. Because of the quality of education he had received, the author has become an accomplished professional who inspires individuals to pursue their dreams. The other Wes is serving time in prison for doing the only thing that allowed him to survive. While many people may misunderstand the decision by the other Wes to engage in criminal activities, the author presents the reality by highlighting the limited options that were available to him (Abrar-Ul-Haq, Mohd, and Gazi 650). In this case, the author’s mother managed to secure him a slot to one of the reputable institutions in Baltimore because of her academic background. On the contrary, the other Wes’s mother could not motivate him because of the unfortunate cancelation of her Pell Grant.
Poverty played a significant role in shaping the men’s lives because of its impact on developing their perspectives towards interactions with other people. Reading The Other Wes highlights the adverse outcomes of poverty and how it affects growth and development among young people around the world. The author finally understands the role of poverty and how it affects youth mentoring. While her mother could encourage him to focus on accomplishing his academic goals, the other Wes’s mother appreciated her son’s contribution to sustaining the family using criminal proceeds. From this realization, the two men have different perspectives towards life despite sharing a common background. The author believes that with the right mentoring processes, young people from poverty-stricken backgrounds can rise above the pressure to succumb to drugs and criminal activities.
Abrar-Ul-Haq, Muhammad, Mohd R. M. Jali, and Gazi M. N. Islam. “A Role of Household Empowerment to Alleviating Poverty Incidence and Participatory Poverty: Qualitative Insights from the Literature.” International Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 10, no. 4, 2016, pp. 645-654.
Kazeem, Aramide, and John M. Musalia. “The Implications of Ethnicity, Gender, Urban-Rural Residence, and Socioeconomic Status for Progress through School among Children in Nigeria.” Social Indicators Research, vol. 132, no. 2, 2017, pp. 861-884.
Sironi, Maria. “Economic Conditions of Young Adults before and After the Great Recession.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues, vol. 39, no. 1, 2018, pp. 103-116.
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