July 16, 2012

An old man sat studying just outside of the gates of an ancient city. A traveler approached him saying “Old man, tell me what are the people like in this city?” The old man looked up from his reading and said “First tell me what the people were like in your home city?” “The people in my home city were a miserable lot, greedy and mean spirited; they are why I left to wander the cruel world. I have vowed never to return to that horrible place.” The old man sadly looked up and said “Sir I am afraid you will find the people in this city to be much the same.” The traveler shook his head in disgust and passed through the city gates.

A few minutes later another traveler approached and bowing to the old man said “Venerable one, may I ask you to tell me of the people in this beautiful place?” Again the old man asked “First tell me what the people were like in your home city?” The young man smiled and said “It is a place much blessed, the people are kind and generous, I look forward to the time when my travels carry me back home so I can tell them of all the wonders I have seen.” The old man smiled and said “Sir I am happy to tell you will find the people in this city to be much the same. Welcome.”

- Kahlil Gibran

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