“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth…”
The above quote is attributed to a first century Jewish teacher; better known as Jesus. Regardless of our religious persuasion (or lack of) I believe there is a lesson that we can learn in this modern age from this 2000 year old teaching.
Meekness has many definitions, however, in the above context it can be interpreted as meaning “power under control”. That is, those who have power yet control it in a humble fashion.
We, the wealthly minority of the world’s population, have great power in comparison to the majority who have much less. And, it is we who have the greatest environmental impact due to our wastefully consumptive lifestyle. We have the means to live like “gods” and many of us choose to do so. We don’t think twice about wasting precious and polluting fossil fuels for an unneccessary trip to shop for a great many things we don’t need. We are more than happy to travel by air to a faraway holiday destination, simply because we can. We live in houses that are ever increasing in size and fill them with more material goods than the average individual in the majority world could use in several lifetimes. And because we have the material means we think we can have as many offspring as we want, and maybe even think of them as a consumer item or status symbol.
But “Blessed are the meek” says Jesus, “for it is they, who shall inherit the Earth” There is truth to that statement. For if there is any habitable planet left in 50, 100 or 1000 years time it will only be inhabited by those who live within their means and within the boundaries of the ecosystems that sustain them. They may have the power, the wealth and the technological ability to live as they choose, however, they will realise that to use such power, wealth and technology to live unsustainable, selfish and wasteful lives will be to bring about the demise of themselves or those yet to be.