Which are you?

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
   Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

   Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood
   The good are half bad, and the bad are 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 proud, for, in life’s little span,
   Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

   Not the 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 overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

   Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
   Your portion of labour and worry and care?

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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