The American author and journalist Mitch Albom once said "All parents damage their children. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair." While this metaphor may prove to be a worthy and accurate portrayal for many of the lives of children and parents in the world, this in no way sums up how all mothers and fathers treat and raise their children. In the book, The Other Wes Moore, two boys sharing the same name grow up in similar living situations. The boys resemble each other in terms of both being fatherless and growing up in rough areas where a life of crime and gang involvement is almost inevitable (according to the University of Michigan, only 76% of African American's who attend high school graduate while the others are most likely to spend the rest of their lives involved with drugs1). This fate was not predetermined for both Wes Moore's due to the simple fact that they did not experience entirely similar upbringings. While the social environment in both cases exposed the boys to a life of crime the influence of direct role models, especially family had an even stronger impact. .
This essay will demonstrate how the influence of a strong mother can make all the difference in a young man's life. It will also explore the expectations laid out by the communities of each of the boys in terms of the roles men and women play. And finally it will show how an absent father contributed in different ways in the lives of those two children. Children can easily be influenced by various friends, family and especially mothers. A mother plays an extremely important role in the growth and development of her children. A person cannot become successful in life without the proper values, beliefs and actions. The people that influence a child's beliefs the most are parents, especially mothers.