Two Kinds of People - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

What kind of person are you?

I love this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. (But let's face it, I pretty much love anything written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.) In this poem, Ella says that there are basically two kinds of people in the world and then asks the inescapable question: what kind of person are you?

"Two Kinds of People"
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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, 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 toiled down the road?
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear,
Your portion of worry and labor and care?”