An Alpha poem from 1934 (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by jordanaction

Tldr, I love this. The writer tells of how you are the only person you have to prove yourself to. Alpha as fuck.


The Guy in the Glass Poem (Man in the Mirror)

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife,
Whose judgement upon him must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,
Is the man staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But the final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

= Dale Wimbrow, first published in The American Magazine in 1934.

Lesson learned, don't go around worried about proving your worth to everyone. Prove it to yourself. Women come and go, parents die, people dissapoint, at the end of the day it's you and a mirror.

[–]becredible 138 points139 points  (7 children)

Original Poem:

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

[–]jordanaction[S] 19 points20 points  (2 children)

Thanks for adding that. I like the original despite the dated text.

[–]NecroticFury 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Its actually not dated. The reference to Jack Horner's "chisel" of a plum isn't a reference to literature specific to the period this poem was written in. Here, to "chisel" actually means to steal while simultaneously going unnoticed. Its comparing the next paragraph's "pats on the back as you pass" to 'stealing a plum.' "You can fool the whole world" into thinking "you're a wonderful guy."

Essentially saying external validation is useless. The original is more relevant now than ever before.

[–]becredible 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I think Jack Horner is referencing this nursery rhyme.

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said 'What a good boy am I!'

Here is a piece on NPR explaining the nursery rhyme further.

Also "pelf" means "money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way." OP miswrote it as "self" but this single letter, along with the meaning of the nursery rhyme alluded to in the original but left out in OPs version, certainly changes the entire poem.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for posting the original. Read it to my son today. He is young (12), but I think this holds some good lessons. We had a good discussion about it afterward.

[–]3NO_LAH_WHERE_GOT 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is actually a great summary of The Fountainhead.

[–]InfinitusDolor 8 points9 points  (0 children)

French teacher read this to us my first year of highschool. Changed my life.

[–]StillThriving 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Love this. Thanks for sharing.

[–]jordanaction[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

no worries. Keep reading it every day.

[–]AdonisHera 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You'll never be at peace until you're satisfied with the man who plops his head on the pillow at night. Great poem. Bookmarked.

[–]kinpsychosis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

For a while now I was thinking "It is pretty sad if you have to live your life as you are expected to live it and it is even worse if you are only allowed to be happy if society gives your permission.

[–]cucumber_vaccine 15 points15 points [recovered]

Can you please edit your post and add two spaces to the ends of lines ?

If I write this (where the underscores are actually spaces):


Reddit renders:


[–]getRedPill 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I've been struggling to make a paragraph for a time. That is, a significant blank space between two blocks of text.

[–]cucumber_vaccine 5 points5 points [recovered]

line one__
line two

line three__
line four

line one
line two

line three
line four

Does that help?

[–]fingerthemoon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks man. Learn something new everyday.

[–]drdavethedavedoctor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That gave me the chills. Great post.

[–]nevercomment 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Does anyone else have any poems or articles like this, from earlier periods of time but still discussing the issues we discuss here, like being assertive, masculinity etc.

I know of the essay As A Man Thinketh:


Anyone have anything similar?

[–]FriendOf_TheDevil 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Similar sentiment in

If by Rudyard Kipling http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175772

Invictus by William Henry Garrison http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182194

[–]CaptainGloom 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Those are both poems I would have chosen too

[–]FriendOf_TheDevil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A little mainstream, but they're classics for a reason

[–]fingerthemoon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Your self-worth in the most valuable thing you can ever own.

No one can give it to you but yourself, and no one can take it from you either, once you've earned it.

[–]dimarond 3 points4 points  (1 child)

TRP in a nutshell. This my favourite poem mantra from now on.

[–]whatutterjapes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm gonna show this to all my pua friends, thanks. It's fuckin dope to read shit like this.

(A big part of pickup nowadays is basically this sentiment, but it's just put so beautifully)

[–]Themooseconnection -2 points-1 points  (13 children)

its crazy how much things have changed in the last 50 odd years. 99% of humans these days are nothing more than shells that eat, sleep work and just consume.

If the modern person actually had the ability to look introspectively at themselves in sure 99.99% would be disgusted and regret the life they've chosen.

Lifting, eating right and meditating has cleared my brain fog, each day when I look in the mirror I see less regret about the time wasted playing video games and more too look forward to as I grow into a father, warrior and head of a household.

[–]tb87670 6 points7 points  (1 child)

You read my mind, I keep seeing people that are hollow. They either do nothing but consume and do busy work so they can consume more, fucking non-interesting drones.

I never 'fit in'. When I was 6 I called BS to some of the aggressive indoctrination my mother's church tried to force on me. It made me start thinking at a young age. I always knew even as a teen something was just wrong with the world, not quite right. Oddly the classic TRP example of The Matrix is pretty much spot on, something wasn't quite right but I wasn't sure what until I took the red pill a few months ago. Life is harder after taking the red pill, yes, but I am now actually living life.

[–]CaptainGloom 19 points20 points  (8 children)

Warrior? Do you serve in a military or PMC? Do you have weapons training? Combat skills? And who's to say that some of us like the man in the mirror most when we do what we want, and sometimes that's gonna be gaming and blowing time into the air? Additionally, 99% of humans? Yeah were the red pill but it's not like the people who aren't red pill are all just unenlightened fools. We are not here to develop a superiority complex.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (6 children)

it's called metaphor and exaggeration brah

[–]CaptainGloom -1 points0 points  (5 children)

Not really. You are either a warrior or you are not. You either proclaim that people can find their own happiness themselves or you proclaim that yours is the one true happiness. You either admit that you merely have a way of thinking and that not everyone who thinks different to you is a moron, or you state it and ride high on some imagined superior ground.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (4 children)

Wow you really misinterpreted that guy's comment. Don't read it so literally. He never said there's one way to be happy.

[–]CaptainGloom -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

But he did most likely lie about being a 'warrior' and he's clearly tripping on our ideas like it somehow elevates him to some holy patriarch, beating back the browbeaten commoners with the holy fire of 'heading a household' and 'regretting time wasted playing games'

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Everyday you fight a war against yourself. We're all warriors in a sense.

He feels personal regret over his former video game habits. How is that self-idolizing?

There are definitely two tiers of humans. Those who are conquered by their instincts and those who conquer them. It's not wrong to recognize the ways you are better than people if you do it out of pure recognition with no sense of gloating or grandiosity.

[–]CaptainGloom -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

So a hardened soldier who fights for his living is now in the same tier as someone who has a high opinion of their actions? Bravo.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No..... being intentionally obtuse just makes you seem simple.

[–]becredible 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You were downvoted because the top reply looked at your comment I think a little too literally and critically.

I think if you're right that if you take charge of your life, as you've done, it makes a drastic difference compared to how a lot of people seem to live their lives (and how little they seem to like themselves in the process).

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think that's why they don't look inwards. It hurts and it's hard. I heard about a study where most people would rather receive pain than be left alone to their thoughts for 10 min. That's frightning.

[–]Senior Endorsed ContributorVasiliyZaitzev 0 points1 point  (1 child)

As a general piece of advice, go out and get a book of Kipling (or read his works on the internet, which is I guess what you kids do today).

He is an Original Gangster of Red Pill-ness.

[–]Nodeal_reddit 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Riki Tiki Tavi was the original red pill mongoose. That dude ran out of fucks the day he was born.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for sharing that.

[–]RacialRealism 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mmm definitely means a lot to me. Back when I was beta I hated myself so much I didn't even understand what it meant, or felt like, to be proud of yourself. It was like thinking you are worthless was just the natural state of mind.

Once I started getting into martial arts, and going out and doing things that actually impressed myself. Like I thought "I didn't think I could ever do this". I started to sense what it means to be happy with yourself.

This is why alpha men don't pander to women, because they simply respect themselves too much.

[–]TheDreadPill 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This was published during The Great Depression, where great hardships were experienced by nearly anyone, leading to despair, hopelessness, and a sense of helplessness. This poem's target audience, the economically downtrodden men of the era, needed this reminder, to give a sense of purpose to one's existence. Given that we are now (arguably) exiting The Great Recession, the poem still resonates with us.

[–]jordanaction[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am going through a divorce and it resonates with me especially. It is an emotional death and I'm financially not looking great. It is also what has me looking into the red pill.

[–]botbullet0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is one of the main parts of pledgeship in my fraternity. Hit me hard. Pledgeship changed me more than anything I've ever done. The ritual for it was really awesome and really drives this point into you. We had to memorize it and I still think about it all the time.

[–]MajorStyles 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Let's make the modern adaption:

It's not about what the "guy in glass" looks like, it's what he is doing for his wife. After all, "happy wife, happy life."

Now excuse me while I go run a ten mile marathon for Breast Cancer Awareness, followed by watching the premiere of "Supergirl."

Joking, of course. Great poem.

[–]j4qd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So relevant to my life right now. Thank you.

[–]unicornh_1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

2nd verse is life should live by..

[–]y_mr_y 0 points1 point  (0 children)

[–]Hinnak321 0 points1 point  (0 children)

this is a nice conclusion you wrote.

[–]HappyManBeast 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Alternative Lesson Learned: One item, two uses, equally important to men and women, a mirror.

[–]rajesh8162 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Be sure to use this poem to rationalize away your shortcomings. It's not like money makes any difference!

[–]greatmikeshark -5 points-4 points  (1 child)

What if I told you putting the word Alpha in-front of a word does't make it Alpha?

[–]J_AsapGem 1 point2 points  (0 children)

it's more like.. MGTOW to me, still a great post

[–]thickskinnedwhiteass -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

This is quite enlightening. It simplifies the concept of not being a nice guy in my opinion. Let's say people/friends are disrespecting you but you don't want to stand up to them or say something nasty that's on your mind because you feel that they may not like it or that they may abandon you. This results in low self esteem as it translates into not respecting yourself.

What this poem advocates is that at the end of the day it is only your respect for your own self which matters and nothing else. If you feel your line is being trampled upon, say it and confront your peers. Respect yourself. Set boundaries. If a girl is not giving you her time, next her and never be the first one to get in touch. All of the above can basically boil down to respecting yourself and caring only about what the Person in the mirror thinks and nothing else.

[–]Freiling -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

RIP Michael Jackson, a true talent.