I think of this Beatitude as a call to turn inward yet again, to repent and see the Kingdom of Heaven around me, something that’s awfully difficult to do when I feel the opposite of meek – anger, rage, frustration, impatience. Much of what little I’ve read about this Beatitude focuses on action that reestablishes our pride, or our sense of control in a bad situation. We either work at being peacemakers, or determine the best nonviolent response to infuriating or even violent situations. That is important. But note that when we do that, we’ve already swung from circumstances to action.
For me the most important part of being meek focuses on that small, still point between stimulus and response. In my experience when Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” what he means is blessed are those who are able to find calm, even a split second of calm, in troubling situations, before they act. Blessed are those who are able to inhabit that calm, that eternal moment of stillness and silence, no matter how briefly, because when the waves of emotion are highest, when anger or hatred or fear breaks over us, in that moment of meekness we realize that all we have and all we are belongs to God, and we “inherit the earth”.
In many cases we should and do move on to some appropriate response, whether turning the other cheek or organizing a march or standing up for ourselves. But in my opinion, once we do that, we’re past meek and into action (even a non-violence response is a response!) The blessing comes in whatever time for stillness and connection we can find and inhabit.