Here's that Tom Waits song I thought I couldn't find. I like his version better than Norah Jones.
This comic, from Copper Comics, (click on it to see it large, and read the words) reminds me of an old story, possibly (but I'm not sure) Talmudic in origin, or at least (possibly) rabbinical.
(I love the transmission of wisdom through stories -- what a perfect medium for moral lessons, and what a flexible one!)
An old man sat by the gates of his city. Each traveler who came to the city gate would ask him, "Tell me, old man, what are the people like in this city?"
And the old man would answer, "What were the people like in the last city you visited?"
If the traveler said, "In the last city I visited, people were selfish and inconsiderate, greedy and disloyal and unpleasant," the old man would answer, "Keep traveling, friend, for people here are the same."
But, if the traveller said, "In the last city, people were kind and helpful, honest and compassionate and hospitable," then the old man would answer "Well come in, friend and enjoy my city, for people here are the same."