Tuesday, November 23, 2010




1 : to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
2 : to honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion

The etymology blurb distinguishes VENERATE from synonyms such as revere, worship, and adore, by elaborating that VENERATE implies a sacrosanct admiration based on character, association, or age, while the above neighboring words focus on tenderness, ceremony, and personal attachment, respectively.

I've tried to conjure people I VENERATE based on the three signifiers. Actually, that's false. I haven't tried. I've only just thought of this now, a day overdue, after a ten hour work day on four hours of sleep. But from this point on, I will try.


Character, in this sense, is defined as possessing moral and ethical qualities such as integrity, honesty, courage, etc. The first and last person that comes to mind is my dear friend Josh, always painfully focused on doing what is morally just, no matter what lengths he must go to fulfill this goal. For example, I've sat idly in the passenger seat of his car while he took three tries to parallel park as close to the curb as possible, as well as equally between the surrounding parked vehicles. Now, while this may be considered slightly obsessive-compulsive, I don't believe neuroses motivates his behavior (although I'm sure it does to an extent). I truly believe he is concerned with the greater good—if everyone parked straight and equally spaced their cars, more vehicles could fit on the street and fewer drivers would experience parking/road rage. The golden rule is at work with Josh, in an exemplary way.


I suppose this is relevant in our culture, although I truly couldn't give two fucks about who anyone knows. My father liked to tell the story about how he arm-wrestled (and beat) Cassius Clay (yes—before he had Parkinson's). He was so proud of his association, and sincerely wanted to be VENERATED for his one degree of separation from the great fighter. Truly, while I don't believe I care, I still enjoy telling this story and perpetuating my father's claim to fame. But I don't tell the tale to brag about his association as much as I attempt to illustrate his absurdity.


"Respect your elders." I hated the phrase as a child, and it still aggravates me as an adult. This phrase is a cop-out. If one acts respectfully—at any age—one deserves respect. And if you're an entitled asshole sneering and whining and yelling at me because the bakery where I work sold out of your precious bearclaws, then I don't care if you're a hundred-and-forty-two. You're not getting anything from me.

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