Here’s to the sane ones

I’ve been thinking about unsung heroes lately, the behind-the-scenes people who make the world go around. I’d like to tell some of their stories here, but they probably wouldn’t want that. They’re not “the crazy ones” romanticized by pop culture. They’re the sane ones who take responsibility.

Here’s to the sane ones who do mundane work with love and hold the world together.

Here’s to the sane ones,
the responsible, the mature,
the unsung heroes,
the pillars of society,
the ones who see what needs to be done and do it.
They’re not fond of recognition,
and they know the world is a messy place.
You can snub them, make fun of them, or ignore them.
About the only thing you can’t do is live your life without them.
They make the human race survive.
And while some may see them as the boring ones, we see love.
Because the people who are humble enough to serve
are the ones who hold the world together.

I’m not saying we don’t need “crazy ones.” We do. But we also need responsible ones. It’s not just talkers who “make a dent in the universe.” It’s the behind-the-scenes doers too.

I’d love to see someone take this and make a video like the Apple commercial, or a poster like this one using the text of the commercial.

17 thoughts on “Here’s to the sane ones

  1. I love it and appreciate it much because it’s now complete, meaning balanced – Crazy & Sane.

    So, I tried something very, very simple and posted it at the following link. Please pardon me that I modified your original work a little to match “The Crazy Ones” that I inserted “Because they hold things together.”

    Of course, I can change anything as you want if you let me know.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3305850/Crazy%20%26%20Sane.pdf

  2. Excellent. Although, to match the medium to the message — if that goes on a poster, it should be in plain-looking text without any fancy typography/layout/etc. :)

  3. In your endeavor to be clever and profound, you imply that crazy and sane are exclusive. You’ve inserted an implied definition of irresponsibility into crazy. And then you tag crazy as pop culture. It’s not a given that Apple’s crazies are defacto irresponsible, in fact they are the opposite. Even more correct would be the thought that crazy and sane co-exist in everyone. Also, your attempt to redefine and refocus the pop-culture of crazy, Ahem, makes you a little crazy. So thanks for going against the mainstream, thanks for going outside the box, thaks for proving the point and thanks for being crazy.

  4. @BV you are working too hard to make John a crazy one here.

    Note that the original describes the crazy ones as rebels. If you don’t associate a glorification of rebellion with our popular culture, then you are one of the ones that intentionally naive ones.

    Which is far worse than being one of the crazy ones or the sane ones.

  5. Eric – you have missed the whole point. If it were not for the crazy ones, the ones who make us uncomfortable, we would stiil believe that the earth was the center of the universe. We are not glorifing rebelious behavior, we are glorify rebelious thought. And from that thought comes all the advancements and benefits to mankind. A frown is the fisrt sign of intelligence, the religious among us would say first sign of God.

  6. Eric- I had written “Also, your attempt to redefine and refocus the pop-culture of crazy, Ahem, makes you a little crazy.”

    I meant “Also, your attempt to REBEL against the pop-culture of crazy, Ahem, makes you a little crazy.”

    Calling john a crazy was a compliment.

  7. I like the text; I haven’t looked at the videos. I confess I am not familiar with the Apple ad except in passing, and didn’t notice the similarities until I read the commentary.

    I like the sentiment. I think is is good to remind myself that I don’t actually know the full consequences of the small responsible and helpful actions I take. The turns our lives take are often measured in seconds and inches, whether we know it or not. Someone’s quiet, responsible action often makes the difference.

    Hey, John, I just had a thought — have you been watching It’s a Wonderful Life lately?

  8. This reminds me of my current pet peeve which is calling to the people (or businesses, really) that make iPhone apps as “developers.” Selling a hit 99c game on the App Store mean you’re great at selling 99c games. I’ve never written an iPhone app but I’d like to think I’ve done even more important work behind the scenes as a developer.

  9. This reminds me of Marge Piercy’s “To Be Of Use here are the second and third stanza

    I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
    who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
    who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
    who do what has to be done, again and again.

    I want to be with people who submerge
    in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
    and work in a row and pass the bags along,
    who stand in the line and haul in their places,
    who are not parlor generals and field deserters
    but move in a common rhythm
    when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

  10. I thought that Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Sons of Martha” has a lot of the same theme behind it.

    The Sons of Martha
    Rudyard Kipling – 1907

    The sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited
    that good part;
    But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the
    careful soul and the troubled heart.
    And because she lost her temper once, and because she
    was rude to the Lord her Guest,
    Her Sons must wait upon Mary’s Sons, world without
    end, reprieve, or rest.
    It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and
    cushion the shock.
    It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that
    the switches lock.
    It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care
    to embark and entrain,
    Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by
    land and main.

    They say to mountains, “Be ye removed.” They say to
    the lesser floods, “Be dry.”
    Under their rods are the rocks reproved-they are not
    afraid of that which is high.
    Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit-then is the
    bed of the deep laid bare,
    That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly
    sleeping and unaware.
    They finger death at their gloves’ end where they piece
    and repiece the living wires.
    He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry
    behind their fires.
    Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into
    his terrible stall,
    And hale him forth a haltered steer, and goad and turn
    him till evenfall.
    To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till
    death is Relief afar.
    They are concerned with matters hidden – under the
    earthline their altars are-
    The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to
    restore to the mouth,
    And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again
    at a city’s drouth.

    They do not preach that their God will rouse them a
    little before the nuts work loose.
    They do not teach that His Pity allows them to drop
    their job when they dam’-well choose.
    As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark
    and the desert they stand,
    Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren’s
    day may be long in the land.

    Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path
    more fair or flat –
    Lo, it is black already with blood some Son of Martha
    spilled for that!
    Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness
    to any creed,
    But simple service simply given to his own kind in their
    common need.

    And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessed – they
    know the Angels are on their side.
    They know in them is the Grace confessed, and for
    them are the Mercies multiplied.
    They sit at the Feet – they hear the Word – they see
    how truly the Promise runs.
    They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and – the
    Lord He lays it on Martha’s Sons!

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