Are you a lifter, a leaner, or just watching?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

When I was growing up, my Dad told me there were three kinds of people in the world: people who made things happen, people who watched things happen, and people who wondered what happened. I heard this frequently, and each time it would bring a smile to my face. It’s more than just a cute saying; it’s very true. As you think about people you have interacted with in your life, don’t they all seem to fall into these three categories?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote a poem titled Two Kinds of People. Her poem describes people as Lifters and Leaners. The second to last stanza of her poem reads:

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.

Wow, that’s a tragic thought. Only five percent of the people we interact with are those who are willing to step up and make things better. Since I am an optimist, I would prefer my Dad’s quote because at least some were just confused and perhaps lacked direction or guidance.

Regardless of whose verse we choose to accept, the question still needs to be answered. What kind of person are you? A lifter, a leaner, or a wonderer? We live in a time when mediocrity is all around us. People expect so little of themselves and each other. If we choose to be one of the five percent who make situations and others better, we will have the opportunity to lead and begin living a life of significance. It doesn’t take special skill; it only takes a willing heart.

Please join Marisa and me for episode 104 of The Next Page as we review Ella’s poem in depth and discuss ways to be a lifter.

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