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When you know a fellow

 

WHEN YOU KNOW A FELLOW

When you get to know a fellow, know his joys
and know his cares,
When you've come to understand him and the
burdens that he bears,
When you've learned the fight he's making and
the troubles in his way,
Then you find that he is different than you
thought him yesterday.
You find his faults are trivial and there's not so
much to blame
In the brother that you jeered at when you only
knew his name.

You are quick to see the blemish in the distant
neighbor's style,
You can point to all his errors and may sneer
at him the while,
And your prejudices fatten and your hates
more violent grow
As you talk about the failures of the man you
do not know,
But when drawn a little closer, and your hands
and shoulders touch,
You find the traits you hated really don't
amount to much.

When you get to know a fellow, know his every
mood and whim,
You begin to find the texture of the splendid
side of him;
You begin to understand him, and you cease to
scoff and sneer,
For with understanding always prejudices disappear.
You begin to find his virtues and his faults you
cease to tell,
For you seldom hate a fellow when you know
him very well.

When next you start in sneering and your
phrases turn to blame,
Know more of him you censure than his business
and his name;
For it's likely that acquaintance would your
prejudice dispel
And you'd really come to like him if you
knew him very well.
When you get to know a fellow and you understand
his ways,
Then his faults won't really matter, for you'll
find a lot to praise.

By Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959), A Heap o' Livin'.