Meekness is perhaps the most hated of all virtues with jealousy as its meanest rival. Defined as the power to remain ourselves in all circumstances, meekness, when lived out for its own sake shall be replaced with bravado under the threat of ridicule from the despot of jealousy i.e. wussophobia. This same jealousy demands meekness under more practical circumstances when idealism can be easily discarded. If we win the lottery and adorn ourselves we are chided by proud critics calling for vain altruism, popular minimalism, and a humble attitude toward work using meekness as an anesthetic for the insufferable condition of having a peer’s good fortune in view.
What is it about meekness that so enrages and predictably terrifies the dark heart of mankind that it seeks to bury and replace it with a cobbled substitute so aggressively? What hazard is it when left alone? It is Satan’s Kryptonite. Meekness allows us, if only at brief moments, to bear the uncorrupted image of God in which we are created. In its simplest form meekness casts the tallest and broadest of shadows over avarice. It is self sacrifice for sacrifice’s sake. It is the condemnation of corruptibility itself.
Just want things to be simple? I have sad news. Simplicity is a fussy chimera. If simplicity is defined as an acceptable level of complexity then what is this acceptance if not an attitude? It is in this fickle acceptance where simplicity lives. Walking is simple but yet it really isn’t. An axe is simple but only sort of. C.S. Lewis wrote that “real things are never simple” using the complexities of a table and chairs as an example. We may have an attitude that a table or chair is simple when we use them but by sitting down to build either we are confronted with how complex they truly are.
However Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense that the simpler a system of government we have the less likely it is to be corrupted. So perhaps there is such a thing as objective simplicity. If fewer parts in a system amounts to a simpler thus more reliable system then we have a standard for simplicity for that system that relates to its parts. But this still prioritizes the experience of repairing the system rather than using it and when fully considered returns us to where we started.
So how do we judge whether something is simple? It is, unfortunately, complicated. As I desire control over something I expect and accept more responsibility and less automation. So whether you are buying a car or a smartphone simplicity will mean something different when you are 25 that it will at age 65. It is in this sense that simplicity is a pursuer and we are the capricious ones.