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Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Two Kinds Of People"

I ask that you to read this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (see her bio here). Then I will finish up with a few comments.

There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Two kinds of people no more I say.
Not the good or the bad, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad, the bad are half good.

Not the happy or sad, for in the swift-flying years,
Bring each man his laughter, each man his tears.
Not the rich or the poor, for to count a man's wealth,
You must know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's busy span,
Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.
No! the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go you'll find the world's masses
Are ever divided into these two classes.
And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I mean,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of the overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear,
Your portion of worry and labor and care?

Do you see yourself in any part of this poem? I sure see myself in there. If we are servant leaders, those who put others before ourselves and work to help our people flourish, then we must take heed of these ideas.

We can either be givers or takers. We're human beings so we at least spend a little time doing both. I challenge each of us, me included, to reflect on the words above and be ever vigilant to ensure we don't spend the majority of our lives as the latter.

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