Behold what, exactly? At the moment, my written thoughts on the word “behold”.
Not that my writings are so profound that they are something to truly “behold” in the strictest sense. But that is exactly my point. The vast majority of our lives fail to live up to the uses of the word “behold”.
It’s almost always followed by an exclamation point. It’s a command. You don’t merely suggest someone “behold” anything, and you certainly don’t ask them to.
I dare say it works, at least at first. If one walks into a room and says “looky here” some might look, but just as many are going to ignore you. Yet if someone exclaims “Behold!” don’t try to tell me you won’t look. You’d look. I’d look. Again, I’m guess 99% of humanity would look. It’s almost a reflex-as though our souls are pre-programmed to respond to that word.
It’s a virtual certainty that whatever follows a declaration of “Behold!” is going to disappoint. Yet we look up anyway, to find Aunt Edna has brought her “famous” bean-dip to the reunion again.
“Behold! I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
There you go. Regardless of your religious persuasions, you cannot deny that the image there is far more suited for “Behold!” than is bean dip. Or a new tie, or your mere arrival at the party.
I wonder if our lives are so uneventful and shallow that we hope to bring some aspect of divinity and awesomeness to our side by invoking “Behold!” for incidents that are clearly beneath it. Perhaps it’s an ironic commentary on just how unimportant we as a society have allowed our lives to become.
Or, do people who use it find their tie, their bean dip, their very presence, to be of such significance that they really do think we should “behold” what is in front of us? No doubt some people who use it are that sanctimonious.
There is of course a third option; maybe most people do not recognize the latent power of the word, and find it to be nothing but another verb. In which case I am the one making a big to-do about it.
Behold! The dramatic tendencies of a writer’s mind.
- Posted in: Days in the Life