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Inside crazy

Coca-Cola has a new commercial out that’s one of those “Oh yes, exactly! Hey, is it getting dusty in here?” things.


Well, at least that was my reaction and the reactions of the plethora of other parents who shared it on Facebook and Twitter. A lot of childless people probably wondered a bit at the fuss and may have even wondered if we’re all crazy. “Um, yeah. Babies, great! But did you see the stepping on toys? That is no fun. You know you guys are a little nuts.”

And honestly, we are a little crazy. Passion does that to you, and not just passion about something like children (or significant others or pets or something living.)  Whatever we’re interested in — be it a cause, a skill, a story, or an artist  — can make us seem a little nuts to those not in on the big secret.

All of us have things we’re passionate about that make us seem nuts to those outside. I know homeschooling seems crazy to outsiders, as I’ve been told repeatedly. Competitive athletes seem crazy — not only sacrificing a great deal, but also pushing their bodies beyond what seems reasonable limits. And you can find a nice collection of crazy at (Fill in the blank)Con.
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No, we don’t always understand why people devote their time and energy to things we don’t value. But passion, like love, is a funny thing and not entirely rational. Even if we can’t always understand someone’s particular passion, most of us can understand having a passion.

crazy competition

Artists and inventors, activists and hobbyists can all seem all-out nuts to those looking in. Passion makes us crazy. But, as C.S. Lewis noted, it’s inside crazy is where we find true friendship, where we find equally insane people who share our passion. (That’s a slight paraphrase.)

inklings friendship

That explains that why when you start having kids you discover most of your friends are also parents. Likewise, geeks have lots of geek friends, gardeners have gardening friends, etc. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule; we can have deep and meaningful friendships with someone who doesn’t share our particular brand of crazy. But passionate interest begets friendship like nothing else.

It’s a good way to keep all the crazy sorted.

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