The Highest Adjective In The Human Language

Have you seen today’s movie and concert ads? “Joyous,” “Luminous,” “Extraordinary,” “Exquisite.” The adjectives are like the credit cards reaching ever upward from silver to gold to diamond to platinum. We live in an age desperate to be bigger, better, happier. What’s going on here…?

OK, so you don’t sit on a serpent-encrusted throne in ancient Egypt. And yet, just like the rest of us, you occasionally dream of leaving behind a pyramid of accomplishments. Kings and presidents construct buildings and bridges, CEOs create business empires, religions erect cathedrals, Hollywood and Television pitch superlatives.

What can you and I do?

Eventually we can make a choice. Either we keep biting at every bait, eventually finding the hook inside. Or! We can ignore the trawlers fishing for us, and instead start re-defining what’s really worth biting at. Ira Gershwin’s 1938 lyrics said it simply and may have said it best:

“It’s very clear/ our love is here to stay/ not for a year/ but ever and a day/ the radio and the telephone/ and the movies that we know/ may just be passing fancies/ and in time may go/ but, oh my dear/ our love is here to stay/ together we’re/ going a long long way/ in time the Rockies may crumble/ Gibraltar may tumble/ they’re only made of clay/ but our love is here to stay.”

Composer & brother George had died shortly before the song was released. It turns out Ira was writing the lyric about him. Which reminds us that love — romantic or otherwise — is the highest adjective of the human language. To authentically love and live for another. After all, the rest is really “only made of clay.”

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