In the epilogue of The Other Wes Moore, we learn about the numerous goals Wes has accomplished since 2000. What are the calculated decisions he made to accomplish those goals? Do you think Wes is the person responsible for those accomplishments or do you think other individuals are responsible?

One calculated decision Wes had to make was to behave well in military school, which led to some of the other successes he discusses in the epilogue.

Expert Answers

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One of the decisions Wes Moore made that likely helped him achieve the goals enumerated in the epilogue involves military school. When Moore is first sent to Valley Forge Military Academy, he is defiant and attempts to escape multiple times.

However, after seeing Cadet Captain Ty Hill stand in front of F Company and command “real respect, the kind you can't beat or scare out of people,” Moore decides to change his ways. Hill becomes something like a role model for him, and Moore embraces the discipline and integrity of military school. Moore’s good behavior brings him scholarships and additional opportunities.

If Moore had continued to act in such a contrary manner, it’s likely those opportunities would have vanished and the goals that Moore writes about in the epilogue would be quite different; perhaps Moore wouldn’t even be in a position to write this book.

Of course, other people played a key role in Moore’s achievements. If his mom didn’t send him to the military school and shoulder the financial burden, Moore’s life might have turned out differently. If Hill, his chain of command, and the faculty didn't support Moore, Moore’s outcome might not have been so positive.

In the end, Moore grapples with the difficulty of ascribing one’s accomplishment to a single person. As Moore says,

People are so widely different, and it’s hard to know when genetics or environment or just bad luck is decisive.

Yet Moore also argues that if young people were given ample resources and education, then they'd have a much better chance of making “the best decisions possible.”

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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