Meekness is an attribute of human nature and behavior. It has been defined several ways: righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering, long suffering willing to follow gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple.
Meekness has been contrasted with humility as referring to behaviour towards others, where humbleness refers to an attitude towards oneself - meekness meaning restraining one's own power, so as to allow room for others.
- The Israelite Apostle Paul gave an example of meek behavior when writing to Timothy: "The servant of the Lord must be gentle, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." (2 Tim. 2:24–25)
- Sir Thomas Browne explained: "Meekness takes injuries like pills, not chewing, but swallowing them down." This indicates that meekness allows a person to overlook or forgive perceived insults or offenses.
- The meek feature in the Beatitudes, and were linked thereby to the classical virtue of magnanimity by Aquinas.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Mormonism
- A meek behavior is presented as being opposite to "the natural man" (i.e. one who acts strictly according to desires of the body): 'Put off the natural man and become meek.' (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:19), and in 3 Nephi 12:5 when Jesus Christ appears to the people of ancient america after his Ascension to Heaven and teaches them the beatitudes.
- Beethoven rejected meekness and equality in favor of cultural elitism: “Power is the moral principle of those who excel others”.
- Nietzsche rejected Christian meekness as part of a parasitic revolt by the low against the lofty, the manly, and the high.
- Buddhism, like Christianity, strongly valued meekness - the Buddha himself (in an earlier life) featuring as the 'Preacher of Meekness' who patiently had his limbs lopped off without complaining by a jealous king.
- Taoism valorized the qualities of submission and non-contention.
- Book of Numbers chapter 12 verse 3: Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
- The classical Greek word used to translate meekness was that for a horse that had been tamed and bridled.
- The buffalo was to the Buddhists a lesson in meekness.
- Meekness is used to characterise the nature of Tess in Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
- The Heroine of Possession: A Romance judges the hero as "a gentle and unthreatening being. Meek, she thought drowsily, turning out the light. Meek."
- The Free Dictionary, Meekness
- LDS.org Guide to the Scriptures, meekness
- Neal A. Maxwell, Meekness -- A Dimension of True Discipleship, 1982
- E. A. Cochran, Receptive Human Virtues (2011) p. 82
- Matthew (1806). A Discourse Concerning Meekness. Hilliard
- K. D. Bassett, Doctrinal Insight to the Book of Mormon (2008) p. 197
- The Free Dictionary, Usages of meekness
- C. S. Titus, Resilience and the Virtue of Fortitude (2006) p. 320
- Quoted in Maynard Solomon, Beethoven Essays (1988) p. 204
- W. Kaufman ed., The Portable Nietzsche (1987) p. 626-30
- J. B. Carman, Majesty and Meekness (1994) p. 124
- D. Schlinghoff, Studies in the Ajanta Paintings (1987) p. 219
- D. C. Lau ed., Lao Tzu (1963) p. 25-9
- J. K. Bergland, The Journeys of Robert Williams ( 2010) p. 53
- D. Schlinghoff, Studies in the Ajanta Paintings (1987) p. 144
- H. Bloom, Thomas Hardy (2010) p. 84
- A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance (1991) p. 141