We all know them, no matter our line of work, we ALL know them. THOSE people who are actively engaged in every meaningful conversation (even if the-rest-of-us are still looking for a pen). THOSE people who are actively engaged in every event, schedule, after-hours service, and committee (even when the-rest-of-us are not sure our shoes match). THOSE people who let the words "let's figure this out" escape from their lips far more often and far, FAR in advance of any words that resemble "can't" or "won't" (even when the-rest-of-us "can't" get the key in the bathroom door fast enough). THOSE people who are probably helping everyone in the workplace to the degree that they are probably only able to do their actual job somewhere between REM sleep and the first time their spouse snores or steals the covers. THOSE people, who almost never ask for much at all from their co-workers, but never forget to do something extra - including hand written thank you notes to folks who were really only doing what they should be doing, just because it meant something extra to "THAT" person (grammar freaks like me - just roll with that last sentence, ok?).
This is my 23rd year teaching. Once in a while I have been one of THOSE people. More often, however, I have been inspired by THOSE people (and I unabashedly steal their ideas. It's teaching people, we all do it). THOSE people have their own jobs and duties for which they are responsible, and because they are THOSE people, they take that responsibility to heart with such depth that they cannot imagine being unable to meet that responsibility. Sometimes THOSE people make a simple request, and the rest of us are presented with a choice: help or hurt. Seems simple, right? Surely if one of THOSE people needed something so small - especially on the far greater stage of the work we all do together - we should be able to find a solution, right?
Sometimes, THOSE people need the rest of us to amplify their voice and (read this with a dramatic echo effect) champion a cause (cause... cause...)!. THOSE people, more often than not, are an inspiration to those around them, and they might be a bit uncomfortable at hearing that, but they would appreciate it. Sometimes, though, they just need the-rest-of-us to help with that simple request.
If you know one of THOSE people, go ahead: for just a brief moment in time, BE one of THOSE people. Help 'em out. Remember the choice? If you won't (that word!) help, then at least be quiet and don't hurt. Why?
because I've got THOSE people's backs. and I'm a pain in the ass....