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A Heap O' Livin'

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  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.



  A smudge on his nose and a smear on his cheek  And knees that might not have been washed in a week;  A bump on his forehead, a scar on his lip,  A relic of many a tumble and trip:  A rough little, tough little rascal, but sweet,  Is he that each evening I'm eager to meet.

  A brow that is beady with jewels of sweat;  A face that's as black as a visage can get;  A suit that at noon was a garment of white,  Now one that his mother declares is a fright:  A fun-loving, sun-loving rascal, and fine,  Is he that comes placing his black fist in mine.

  A crop of brown hair that is tousled and tossed;  A waist from which two of the buttons are lost;  A smile that shines out through the dirt and the grime,  And eyes that are flashing delight all the time:  All these are the joys that I'm eager to meet  And look for the moment I get to my street.



  Does the grouch get richer quicker than the     friendly sort of man?  Can the grumbler labor better than the cheerful     fellow can?  Is the mean and churlish neighbor any cleverer     than the one  Who shouts a glad "good morning," and then     smiling passes on...?