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I met a man walking, on a long dusty road;

he seemed to be burdened, with life’s heavy load.


His hair was kind of shaggy, he’d been sleeping in his clothes;

his shoes were old and weathered, not pretty, heaven knows.


I said, “hello Sir, how do you do”;

he looked at me and said, “how’d do”.


I said, “Where are you going, on this hot sunny day”;

he said, “I’m looking for heaven, and leave here I pray”.


I said, “Come on now, don’t be a fool”;

he said, “This world is just too cruel”.


I said, “Please explain your reasons to die;

before you leave this world and say good-by”.


Then he said, “I’ll tell you and maybe you’ll see;

but promise me that you won’t judge me”.


Promise me that you won’t condemn;

cause you just don’t know, the condition I’m in.


You won’t know me, or understand my blues;

until you have walked awhile in my shoes.


Until you have read every line in my face;

until you have stood awhile in my place.


You won’t know me, until you have carried my load;

and struggled along this old dusty road.


Until you have felt, my pain and rejection;

and felt my sorrow, and felt my affliction.


He said, “I was born into dire poverty;

as rough a life, as ever can be”.


My dad ran away, and my mother was cruel;

and everyone else, called me the fool.


I wandered the streets, when I was only nine;

getting into trouble and wasting my time.


I’ve been in many jails, throughout the years;

had a lot of heartache, shed a lot of tears.


I’ve felt cold eyes, staring at me;

by upper class people, and high society.


I’ve met people who won’t, give me the time of day;

who went into a big fine church, and kneeled down to pray.


I’ve been cheated out of money, by everyone I’ve known;

I’ve been hated and despised, down to the bone.


I’ve felt hatred as cold, as an ice house floor;

from total strangers, that never met me before.


My whole life has been, filled with pain;

sometimes I wonder, if I’m insane.


But if I am, out of my mind;

why am I hated, most of the time.


Don’t people have compassion on the mentally ill;

or be concerned, as to how do they feel.


How can I judge or condemn any man?

until in his shoes, I walk and I stand.


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