The Other Wes Moore

picBy Julius Henderson

Now in my 3rd year at SMU, I’ve had a chance to experience the college atmosphere and deal with many of the responsibilities that come with going to a school like SMU. One thing is for sure: college is about choices. As a matter of fact, life is about choices, and a recent experience that I had at here on campus really brought that to light for me.

During the first week of school, I had a chance to sit in on a lecture by Wes Moore, the author of The Other Wes Moore, the common reading book for the 2013-2014 school year. This story is geared around the lives of two individuals that were eerily similar, yet their journeys ended up in very different places. The story itself was very unique, as Wes touches on his childhood and takes us through the lives of himself as well as the other Wes, exploring the moments where their paths went in separate directions. Wes ended up as a Rhodes Scholar, studying at Oxford College as well as becoming a distinguished army veteran. The other Wes was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for a robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer.  The lecture proved to be such a valuable experience, as students across campus all came out to listen to Wes Moore talk about his experiences and how he’s used his own life and the life of the other Wes to demonstrate just how quickly one’s life can be changed with just one decision.

My biggest takeaway from going to see him speak was the simplicity of a message that has such significant implications. His message was clear: At all times, be conscious of your actions and the repercussions of those actions. As I continue through my college years, this awareness will continue to be strengthened, and I can only hope to make the type of impact that Wes Moore has had in some inner city communities through the example he has set. Ultimately, no one is perfect, but we must take advantage of what we can control, and that means making good choices, and knowing that those decisions will shape the future as we know it.

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