Lifters and Leaners
Have you ever met someone who immediately left a positive effect on your life?
I have. And, I always leave feeling like more of the things that I had thought were impossible aren’t that far out of reach.
When I meet someone like that, I think about my interaction with them. I evaluate it to see what it was that made me feel the way I did. (I do that with not-so-positive interactions too…)
There is a common thread I have discovered with these kinds of people. I call them lifters.
They’re the kind of people who spend their lives trying to lift others up. They may vary in many other ways, but, in some way, most of them have made a practice of lifting up those they come in contact with.
They do it in various ways:
They are encouragers.
They see the best in others and encourage them in it. There are those who don’t think this way. They always see the worst in people and they like pointing it out. And that’s a stark contrast. I would like to ask, where are you? Have you tried being a source of encouragement in someone’s life today?
They are dreamers.
They don’t see 1,001 ways “this” isn’t going to work. They dream with you about all the ways it could. While they encourage you, they won’t sugar coat things. They may mention possible challenges, but it will be with a tone of possibility. Again, there are those who don’t know how to dream or simply don’t like to. When someone shares a dream with them, they shoot it down. The seem to find some kind of sick pleasure in being cynical. What about you? Are you are dream pusher or a dream crusher?
They are truth tellers.
It seems counterintuitive, but people who lift others up are also the ones that are willing to share the blunt realities with them. They won’t do it in a harsh, put you in your place, make you feel little kind of a way. But, they know that there are things that are keeping you down, and if they don’t tell you about them, it will be impossible to lift you up. Then there are those who never tell you the truth. They see the glaring issue in your life that is keeping you down, but they ever say anything. They see the emperor walking around with his clothes on and just assume he knows. Which are you>
They are givers.
When someone needs something, they try to meet that need. They are the ones who volunteer and give of their time, talent and treasure to help their “fellow man.” And just like the last three, there are also those who are simply takers. The majority of their existence is rooted in what they can get from people. And, once they’ve exhausted a resource, they move on to the next. Are you a giver or a taker?
Here at SixEight…
We are doing our best to be lifters. We don’t do it perfectly, but that is who we are trying to be. We want this to be an encouraging place for all who gather here. We not only want to encourage you to dream, but we have some pretty big dreams ourselves. We know there is a truth that sets us free, and we want to share that with everyone. And we spend a lot of our time, talent and treasure giving to our community.
We not only do it because we love it. We do it because we want to be lifters. We see the potential in each and every person that walks through our doors and we would love to be a part of seeing that potential sprout up and take root in you.
How About You?
You may think you don’t have any way to lift someone, but (may I speak bluntly?), you’re wrong. These things mentioned above don’t cost you anything. They may require some changes, but they are things you can do. Would you consider working towards becoming a lifter today?
May I also ask this? If someone has lifted you and you find yourself in a better place today than you were a couple of weeks or months ago, would you consider helping us be lifters? Many if not most of the people who are lifters around here are also people who received a lift or two along the way in some way or another. And now, they’re returning the lift they received by lifting others.
And, what I think they would all tell you is this truth: “We rise by lifting others.” You may think that if you spend your time helping people you won’t have the time to make your life better. And, what you need right now is to focus on yourself and get yourself on the right track. But, that’s simply not true. If you’re feeling squashed by life, one of the best things you could do is to do something for someone else.
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?
Are you a lifter or a leaner?