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Social Capital In The Other Wes Moore's Life

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They say three aspects of a thriving society are where we’re from, who we know, and how we think. On the flip side of that coin, these very same aspects can ironically be our undoing. That delicate balance can be the difference between a life in prison and a life dedicated to others. Yes, the sobering realities of life can be harsh but it can also shape and mold us into the people that we’re destined to be. In The Other Wes Moore, The lives of two young men are examined through three distinct lenses. How the environment, social capital (How we get ahead by the help of others and vice versa) and our mindset can dictate who we become in our lives. Both of these young men grew up in roughly the same environment, the ghettos of…show more content…
He also displayed a detrimental fixed mindset regarding his unfortunate circumstances as evidenced by his “Fuck God “comment when he pondered the sad state of his reality in West Baltimore. The contradictory, but well intentioned advice from his brother, Tony, failed to resonate because he, himself, was a drug dealer and their mother, while having the best of intentions, thought the best way to solve their problem was by constantly changing locations, which did Wes no favors in my opinion, because as Author Wes states, “the hood comes in different shapes and sizes” (Moore 97) Ironically, Other Wes found trouble no matter how hard his mother literally tried to remove him from it. Wes’ problems compounded due to a criminal background, 4 kids to feed and mounting financial pressures from his family. His desperate circumstances led him to commit a fatal robbery, which he, along with his brother, Tony, and two others were charged and subsequently convicted of. During a conversation between him and Author Wes Moore in prison, where he serves a life sentence, Other Wes Moore once again displays the fixed mindset that permeated throughout his youth and now into adulthood with this statement; he says: “We will do what is expected of us, if they expect us to graduate, we will graduate. If they expect us to get a job, we will get a job. If they expect us to go to jail, then that’s where we will go too. At some point you lose control” (Moore 126). Other Wes Moore became a sad product of his environment due to his negative disposition, a lack of positive support within his family dynamics. Unfortunately, his tale is an all too common story of black urban
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