Monte Poole, a San Francisco Bay Area sportswriter offered up the following definition of meekness, and because it is so rarely demonstrated in our present day culture, I thought it warranted some attention.
He wrote, “Meekness is strength brought under control for the benefit of others. It’s being in the right but making sure not to use it to make others feel bad. It’s having power, but being concerned enough about those beneath you to alter your behavior for their sake. It’s being cognizant of how your superiority, your upper hand, your favor, impacts those not in such a position.”
I think of modesty when I think of meekness, and I think of sensitivity. I also think of acquiescence; not to the power of another, but to their diffidence. It is not necessarily a badge of courage, or accomplishment, to dominate another individual, to ‘one-up’ them, or to diminish them in the eyes of others. It is more an indication of arrogant insecurity than anything else. Any physical, psychological, or intellectual bully can do that to the less powerful. It takes a more fully realized individual to make a less powerful person an equal.
Meekness is not only a character trait to be cultivated in ones self, but it has a clear, and very practical application as well. It has long been said about the treatment of others, “Be careful whom you step on on your way up because you’re probably going to see them again on your way back down.” The truly meek among us do not have to concern themselves with such eventualities.
What if we as a culture practiced the principle of humbling ones self that another might be exalted? If you believe in the principal of ‘what goes around comes around’, the concept of ‘karma’, you would be determined to allow meekness a position of prominence in your own life. It makes no sense to conduct one’s life and relationships with aggressive disregard for others.
One dictionary defines ‘meek’ as ‘showing submissiveness and lack of initiative or will’. But the contributor has it wrong, failing to understand the greater principle, and deeper meaning, of the word. It takes great strength of character and personal confidence, to conduct oneself with a measure of meekness that enables another rather than reducing them.
That sportswriter has it right. I have been quite aware of the dynamic he has so eloquently described.
But it never hurts to be reminded.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”