By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
The Sermon on the Mount came up during a discussion with a friend, and he got animated about it. “Even if they do inherit the earth,” he said, “who wants to be a meek?”
He equated meekness with weakness, reminding me of a comedian who said he’d love for the meek to inherit the earth so he could knock them down and take it from them.
* “Mankind is like dogs, not gods – as long as you don’t get mad they’ll bite you – but stay mad and you’ll never be bitten. Dogs don’t respect humility and sorrow.” – Jack Kerouac.
Every so often, I start thinking about becoming a better person. Webster’s first definition of “meek” fits what I’m after: “patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment.” I’m figuring that’s what Jesus had in mind.
* “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – Saint Augustine.
My friend and the comedian were thinking about the second definition: “too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” Really, I have to agree that version of meekness would have a hard time holding on to its inheritance.
My dictionary has a third definition: “gentle or kind.” I usually enjoy meeting gentle and kind people, and I can manage to be one for brief spurts of time. My trouble comes when trying to extend those periods of goodness.
* “Life is a long lesson in humility.” – James M. Barrie.
Isn’t it odd that so many of us crave foods that make us sick and are drawn to actions that clearly aren’t in our long-term best interests?
Isn’t it strange that a promise to be more patient can be followed less than 10 minutes later by a screaming spree at a driver who refuses to acknowledge that a red light has turned green? Go! Go! Go!
* “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.” – Yogi Berra.
I think that’s why meek men and women – and children, too, I suppose – will inherit the world, because they’ll be more likely to remember that humans have an infinite capacity to mess up even the simplest things.
They’ll have patience for others because they know their own flaws. They’ll let go of resentment because they know they’ve done plenty to cause resentment in others. They’ll arrive at their divinity not from perfection but from a thorough acceptance of colossal imperfection.
I hope the meek take over someday, and I hope they have enough patience to slowly bring the rest of us to their way of thinking.
* “The greatest friend of truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility.” – Charles Caleb Colton.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.