Manvotional: The Right Kind of People

by Brett & Kate McKay on February 7, 2010 · 16 comments

in A Man's Life, Manvotionals

The Right Kind of People

By: Edwin Markham

Gone the city, gone the day,
Yet still the story and the meaning stay:
Once where a prophet in the palm shade based,
A traveler chanced at noon to rest his mules.
“What sort of people may they be,” he asked,
“in this proud city on the plains o’erspread?”
“Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”
“What sort?” the packman scowled; “why, knaves and fools!”
“You’ll find the people here the same,” the wise man said.
Another stranger in the dusk drew near,
And pausing, cried, “What sort of people here
in your bright city where yon towers arise?”
“Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”
“What sort?” the pilgrim smiled, “Good, true, and wise.”
“You’ll find the people here the same,” the wise man said.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bruce February 7, 2010 at 2:32 am

Nice and very true. Thanks.

2 dan February 7, 2010 at 2:57 am

Crazy, I just quoted this the other day (well, tried to). I’m looking for an apartment to live next year, so this concept is pretty important right now.

3 Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com February 7, 2010 at 4:16 am

Really nice and beautiful. Started off my day well.

4 John February 7, 2010 at 5:54 am

Just last night at work, a young guy was complaining about how much the place sucked. I told him take it easy and that things are what you make them.

IMHO, his poem speaks to the fact that the way we feel about our surroundings is really just that–our perception of them. I would go a step further to say that changing our circumstances is as simple (or hard) as changing the way we see them.

If we stop seeing the people around us as jerks by taking the time to understand or even correct them, then maybe we won’t feel like we’re surrounded by jerks.

5 Joe February 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

I wish more people would realize this story was true. People are people no matter where you go.

6 Tom King February 7, 2010 at 5:50 pm

The truth is, we’ve raised a nation of spectators. Too few men anymore know how to make the best out of a bad situation.

Our President is a prime example. He constantly whines that he isn’t doing well because he ‘inherited’ these problems.

I want a president who volunteers to take charge of the situation as it is and says, “These are my problems now. Let’s man up and do what we must to fix it!”

We’re in the hands of mama’s boys it seems – little princes who whimper about it being “unfair” anytime someone or something challenges them.

Tom

7 Robert Black February 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Well said Tom.

You are what you eat.
You are where you go.
You are who you mingle with.
You are what you think and say.
To return to day Sunday school days….
(VS 1) Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear (repeat)
For the Father Up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little ears
what you hear.

(VS 2) Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see, (repeat)
For the Father up above,
is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes
What you hear.

(VS 3) Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, (repeat),
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little
mouth what you say.

(VS 4) Oh, be careful little hands, what you do (repeat),
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little hands
What you do

(VS 5) Oh, be careful little feet where you go (repeat)
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little feet,
Where you go.

(VS 6) Oh, be careful little mind what you think (repeat)
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little mind,
What you think.

(VS 7) Oh, be careful little heart what you love (repeat)
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little heart,
What you love.

8 Louie February 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Oh, so true…I wish I would have realized this long before I finally did…My Freshman year I went to a small school to give college football a go. Some where along the line I developed the mindset that the place was horrible and at the end of the year I would get the hell out. Looking back I wish I would have stayed and allowed myself to see how good my friends were there, how interesting classes were, and how fun(though at the time I didn’t feel that way) playing for and attending that school was.

If you are considering making a permanent change to your surroundings, I urge you to look deeper at what you already have around you. Do what ever it takes to get out of that rut, I wish I would have. You reap what you sow…Relationships are not easy to maintain long distance…and somethings you can never recapture.

Then again without the mistake there would be no lesson…and maybe I need to take my own advice and see my current situation in a more pleasant light. Regardless, Awesome Article! Thanks.

9 Isaac February 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I think this could say two things:

1. Perceptions make the situation sometimes more than the situation.

2. Good and bad people are spread out and can be found wherever one settles.

10 Alex February 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Thank you for introducing me to this poem. I studied and memorized it.

11 Tyler Logan February 9, 2010 at 4:04 am

Interesting – nice read, thanks.

12 Jinky Williams February 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Our reality is fabricated entirely out of our perceptions.

13 Josh February 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

Thank you.

14 Dennard February 13, 2010 at 12:00 am

Great poem. I like the sentiment a lot.

15 Aaron February 15, 2010 at 6:52 am

Funny… I heard a different version of this story many years ago… and have looked for it ever since.
Thanks for posting.

16 Macko June 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Very true.

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