A group was gathered together in a place one day.

A man came along one time
And saw a group of people.
What a bunch of bums
These worthless people are he said.
Nothing but poverty stricken irrelevant
Unemployed scums these people.
Nobody wants people like that.
They will always be like that.
They should get a job, but no,
They are just too lazy to go to work.
I am so glad that I am not like those imbeciles.
We should make some sort of law to stop
These people being helped so they
Will not be out loafing like this.
If they should die,
Then let them do it quickly
And reduce the surplus population.

Another man came along one time
And saw a group of people.
Oh my, he exclaimed,
How absolutely awful for this to happen
In such a great and powerful
And rich country as this.
With the unemployment being so high
How much like them would I have been
If I lived in their overcrowding conditions?
What if I was educated in such a horrible
Poor education system like that school
Over there that is falling down around the students?
How could I ever have tried to get ahead when being
Ignored and treated so differently because prejudices?
We should do everything that we can to help these
People get an even chance to succeed in life.

One man saw lazy bums who refused to work.
Another man saw humbled and
Humiliated people being deprived.
Compassion or scorn?
What do you see when you look?

And Congress fought each other
Over politics and ignored the people.


About Randall

Welcome to my mind. From it come such writings that have been posted here. The blog Nightly Sky contains the poems that I have written. Sorry. I like writing and poetry.

60 responses »

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Beautifully written, it is a hard hitting poem. Each man sees what he wants to see. It is the same world wide the fat cats get fatter and the poor get poorer.

    • Randall says:

      I know, it is all according to what you want to see. Even though the group is our fellow brothers and sisters. Remember the golden rule: he who owns the gold makes the rules.

  2. tmso says:

    Oooooh, that hit a little too close to home. I never thought I’d be the scornful person, but I am. Since moving down to “the city”, I have found nothing but disgust in me for homeless people. My reaction humbles and frightens me.

    We should do something! Politicians suck, but there they are. That’s the system we have to work with. Somehow we have to make this thing we call life work for all of us.

    • Randall says:

      I guess maybe I am too soft. I just feel so bad for the homeless. And now there is a whole group that has lost their homes and is homeless because of the economy. Sold down the river by the banks and fat cats.

  3. theonlyjoe says:

    I love the quote from “a Christmas Carol”. Really, really cool! Definite thought provoker, makes you feel uncomfortable. Does good work =)

    • Randall says:

      And I love the way the “A Christmas Carol” has the ghost turn into Scrooge to say it right back to him what he said earlier. Thank you for the complement.

  4. wow! What synchronicity! I got into a debate over this very issue with colleagues of mine last week. Although I was fired up, I managed to keep my comments within the realm of civil discourse – but it sent me into research mode to find some writing from those who were able to express my feelings and shared beliefs far more articulately than I was able to at the moment – although I think I did OK. I’d send the group this poem but it would be too much like me tipping over the table after we had all agreed that we had a healthy debate and that we were moving on. Good work. Will “keep it in my hip pocket” though for the next time this subject rears its head – as I am sure that it will.

    • Randall says:

      Unfortunately it probably will arise again. It is what is known in psychology as the “fundamental attribution error.” The error is how it affects peoples’ attitudes toward poor and unemployed people; they attribute their poverty and unemployment back on them, therefor getting what they deserve. When of course it is the situation like we are in with the economy, poor education, overcrowding, and prejudices. I hope this might help next time it comes up.

  5. missdisplaced says:

    People should think about this fact.

    In today’s economy, we are ALL just a few paychecks away from poverty.

    Don’t be so quick to cast stones… it could happen to you tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. How would you survive?

    I used to not have quite so much sympathy myself. Jobs were easy to get it seemed. Then I lost mine, and it took me almost 3 years to get another! I survived… barely. I was lucky.

    • Randall says:

      So you basically have been there, the unemployed. I am so happy that to have your testimony here. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I truly appreciate it.

  6. Ben Naga says:

    There is a great article on “framing” which speaks to these issues at http://www.alternet.org/story/152800/lakoff%3A_how_occupy_wall_street's_moral_vision_can_beat_the_disastrous_conservative_worldview/

    It is very clearly written and I think it is well worth pondering on if you have any interest in how the current situation arose, and a possible way of getting out of it, a different way of looking at the world and our societies.

    If you keep seeing people drowning in a river then eventually, rather than trying to rescue them again and again it could be more sensible to go up stream to find out whether something is happening up there that needs to be changed.

  7. Loud Mind says:

    Wow Randall! I must say:this poem speaketh the truth!

  8. Betty says:

    Excellent! If only everyone in the country (and the world) would read this. Thank you!!

  9. You’re a great poet!

    I believe in not being jealous of people who have “more” (more in quotes because all I know is that they have more material possessions) and helping people who have less.

    So, I don’t begrudge anyone with more but I think everyone in the Western world is so lucky so we need to help the less fortunate. 🙂

    • Randall says:

      I know what you mean. I hate all this what is mine is mine and no one else. I don’t call for them to give everything away. And then some people can’t share becuase they just barely have enough. But there are some who could share out of their abundance with no harm. Thank you so much for your comment.

  10. Very powerful, makes you ask questions about yourself and how you react and judge people.

    • Randall says:

      Yes, in our present situation society needs to calm down some and think of others with a little more kindness. Thank you so much for stopping buy and your feedback.

  11. redplace says:

    Wow… most impressive! And very powerful.

  12. Beautiful poem! You really capture the realities of the day with a stroke of your pen!

  13. Love this it’s so true. I used to work with the homeless and most of them had just fallen on bad times. It could happen to anyone. I found them some of the most interesting people that I’ve ever met

    • Randall says:

      And now it is growing because of the economic hard times. Then there are still so many people that do not get it and blame these people for their hard times there in. thank you so much for your comment.

  14. Caddo Veil says:

    I caught the “Christmas Carol” note, too–& love it. Apparently not everyone was taught, “don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins”.

  15. These are words that need to be written … then read, over and over and over again!

  16. belladonna23 says:

    interesting poem, randall, not too many people write meaningful pieces anymore. loved it

  17. This is exactly true all over the world. I don’t think anyone cares really to a point. It’s very sad. Brilliant writing Randall.

  18. Tor Heart says:

    Compassion is the right human response, but polititcs and business is so far away from humanity… Love your work, Randall

    • Randall says:

      Congress is to busy doing nothing to fix anything and businesses are too greedy to realize the advertising bonanza that could be theirs by helping out. So it is left to us. Thank you for your comment.

  19. Mike Patrick says:

    The point of view of the group would be interesting. Their thoughts would top off this poem.

  20. Lafemmeroar says:

    True, politics are not about the people, but about POWER …

  21. Aurora, HSP says:

    Agree with MissDisplaced and LFR. No point saying it again. Nor what you say so well, Randall, thanks for glimpse again into humanity and lack of… thoughtful post 🙂

  22. asoulwalker says:

    Way to give it a voice. Keep on.

  23. pstok says:

    Great piece! We can all be sanctimonious at times, so it good to be reminded of what it means to be truly human – one who sees with empathy. Thanks

  24. Thomas Davis says:

    Great thoughts. I like the ending especially.

  25. penpusherpen says:

    There but for the grace of God… is always what springs to mind. We each see with our hearts, and by our reaction it shows ‘who’ exactly we are. xPenx

  26. terri0729 says:

    Randall, I love how you take on the controversial subjects such as this one and the last that I read! Another great job!! We are charged to look after the poor, dowtrodden, widow, orphan, ect. God didn’t say to do it only if they deserved it. That’s my thoughts on the subject 🙂 Peace, love and blessings always, Terri

  27. pagney says:

    Society likes to call these people helpless amd unable to change things. In some instances, they are correct. There are those who truly need help to pick themselves up and get out of the tight spots that they are in. However, there are some that purposely allow themselves to fall under, and allow the system to “care for them”. I see it in my community all the time. It’s somestimes hard to gauge who truly needs the help, and who want to use the help for their own self gain.

    • Randall says:

      Yes, there are always going to be those that refuse to work and will try to abuse the system. That is the bad thing about it. The abusers ruin it for ebeyone who truly needs help. Thank you so much for your insight and feedback. I appreciate it very much.

  28. ..Thanks for the ‘like’. The dichotomy of life applies itself that way in society. Folks judging others when they get bored, many times leading to conflict, for the ‘judge’ is fronting the others off to build their social ego. It, of course, carries into the world at large. Larger approval, successes, failures, but noteriety, everyone speaking their name. Society is transparent to me in that way. what is lacking, I believe, is the ability for one to see through the social ‘stumbles’ that lead to false interpretation. Some folks are just not joiners. Are they the ones who see their true gifts? Do have a theory on that. Have you ever watched the way the young athletes focus?..skateboarders doing seemingly impossible things. People, for one, have to be ‘stubborn enough to remain unjudged until they are ready, society must stop trying to control, thus exploit at such obvious levels’..levels that lead to thievery. Tax for war..etc. Have a wondrful Sunday

  29. Shilpa says:

    Very well written. Everything in life has flip side and same goes for our perpective of things in life, one man pity’s them n other scorns them…human nature

  30. clarehudson says:

    Beautifully written

  31. Kirk says:

    A great depiction of two opposite views and what may come of it. What saddens me is that in this very real world there is truth in the observations of both men. The question left open is their responses. I’ve learned that there can be as much harm done by compassion without wisdom as there is hatred and ignorance that refuses to help. Healing comes somewhere in the middle of tough love and accountability in the midst of abundant, generous grace and forgiveness. Thank you for sharing!

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