When Mom mentions a piece, often I'll know what she is talking about because I went through the school system while she was teaching - at the same school, in fact - so I was learning the curriculum while she was teaching it. But every so often she will quote something from her own school days, or something her father taught her, or something she came across while she was upgrading her teaching license in middle age.
This is one poem she referenced a couple of years ago that I hadn't heard before, and I like its message so much I am now a fan.
And it's been popping up in my brain lately.
The author, according to Wikipedia, was a "popular poet rather than a literary poet" but notes that "... in her poems she expresses sentiments of cheer and optimism in plainly written, rhyming verse." I say there's nothing wrong with being a popular poet, if it helps make the world a better place.
(Thank you to this source for providing the poem, as published in The Charlotte Democrat way back in January of 1896.)
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 'tis well understood,
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.
Not the happy and sad, for the swift-flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
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 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 will find the world's masses
Are ever divided into these two classes.
And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I wean,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.
This one question I ask. 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 worry and labor and care?
* * *
I think it's useful to consider every now and then whether I am a lifter or a leaner. Just to check, you know. And maybe make some adjustments, as I've been trying to do lately.
Hope you enjoyed this literary experience, brought to you by Procrastinating Donkey and her mom.
|See, Mom? I really do listen to you. (Pixabay Photo)
Happy weekend to all.