Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zealot

“Phil might have remained an eccentric and disagreeable neighbor but David had turned him into an enemy, and Julia might have been a breath a fresh air which blew into his life for a couple of hours once a week to teach him about how to be a better communicator. Instead, he had transformed her into an object of desire and stupidly pursued her.”

-          Loathe Your Neighbour ch.26

Zeal is a good thing, and if someone describes you as being zealous, you would accept the compliment unless it was delivered with a side order of sarcasm. Why then, I wonder, is it that the word zealot has such negative connotations? There appears to be one of those invisible lines drawn somewhere between being zealous and being overzealous, and if you cross that line you become a zealot and as such, no longer the object of admiration, but of scorn. David Lavender took the passion and protectiveness he had for his family and transformed it into a crusade against his neighbor. He became a zealot, and in so doing, he further antagonized that neighbor, aggravated the police and annoyed his wife. He took a healthy interest in women, an appreciation of them, and turned it into a hunt for something to satisfy his lust. On neither occasion did he realize he was taking things too far, that he was becoming extreme in his thinking and subsequent behavior, until it was too late to avoid the inevitable consequences of his actions. Have you ever crossed the line between passion and zealotry, or are they the same thing?

Zeal you later, everyone. It’s been a pleasure.


  1. Interesting observation. Zealot undoubtedly suggests fanaticism whereas zeal mere enthusiasm. I don't consider passion and zealotry to be the same thing. Nor do I think zeal and passion are the same thing. I see passion as rooted in emotion and zeal rooted in objective. Zealotry also hints at an unwillingness/inability to compromise, and that's one sin I've avoided—I hope.

    It has been a pleasure, David. I look forward to reading LYN.

  2. I'm not sure why this turned into such a negative word. Someone has recorded the history somewhere. I went through a period in my younger days where I was overly passionate about my faith. Not that faith has departed, but it was a period where I was 'right' and there was little room for debate. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have enjoyed your humor and comments. Congrats too on finishing the a-z!