Poetry is not usually my thing, but this week I was challenged to ponder the following:
Which are you?
There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,
That the good are half-bad and the bad half-good.
Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.
Not the humble and the proud, for in life’s little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.
Not happy and sad, for the swift flying 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 earth’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 over-taxed lifters, who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labour, and worry and care?
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
These are good questions to ask, not just in the context of leadership exercises, but in relationships in general. Are you lifting those around you and adding value OR are you leaning on them, taking value from them?
Chaplain Ian Whitley