March 28, 2012

Lifters and Leaners

There are just two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say. 
Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man’s wealth 
You must first know the state of his conscience and health. 
Not the humble and proud, for, in life’s little span, 
Who puts on airs is not counted a man. 
Not the happy and sad, for the swift counting years 
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears. 
No, the two kinds of people on earth I mean 
Are the people who lift and the people who lean. 
Wherever you go you will find the world’s masses 
Are always divided in just these two classes. 
And oddly enough you will find, too, I ween, 
There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean. 
In which class are you? Are you easing the load 
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road? 
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear 
Your portion of labour and worry and care?

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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