The Greek historian, Plutarch, was the first to put pen to paper, in the recording of the ancient Spartan warrior society. He used the word “praotes” in his writings, from which we get the word “meekness”.
The modern usage of “meekness” is very different from Plutarch’s original meaning. Plutarch’s usage signifies the ability to control yourself, especially emotional and passionate reactions, and that this ability is a result of training.
Meekness is the ability to easily manage strength and force. Weakness is the lack of strength and force. Don’t confuse the two. Meekness comes from being coachable and getting the right coaching/training. It’s extremely difficult to train/coach yourself to manage your passions and natural emotional reactions, especially if you are just starting out. Once you get a foundation, buckle up, it’s a life-long practice, one that needs constant attention, but the benefits are enormous.
Unrestrained and unmanaged forceful responses to what happens to you in life can be disastrous over the long term. Unchecked emotional behavior will lead to you being in a position of weakness, passed over for promotions or even unemployed, fewer friends and family members willing to stand by and apologize for outbursts or even put up with them. That seems extreme, yet this lack of control over oneself can be seen on any game day, board meeting, or competition in any field at any level.
We all have heard of celebrities or sports stars who have a pattern of throwing tantrums, and their subsequent inability to get another part or roster position on another team. You may personally know folks who have that same pattern and have witnessed the consequences. It’s something I struggle with daily, to be more controlled and measured in my responses to people and situations.
Once I stopped confusing meekness for weakness, it allowed me to become teachable and make the necessary course corrections given by my mentors and coaches. Suddenly, I began to understand how it is that the meek could inherit the planet.