Meekness is doing our duty in spite of all obstacles, whether those obstacles come in the form of our own errors and excesses, or the wrongful opposition of others.
Meditating on the meaning of meekness has inspired me to begin a series of posts celebrating those among us who exhibit this beatitude by seeking what is true, good, and beautiful despite significant temptations to the contrary.
As an academic, I am particularly drawn to this superb documentary, summing up the career of economist, political pundit, and public intellectual Thomas Sowell:
Over the years I have occasionally read Sowell’s opinion pieces, but I must confess to lagging far behind in reading his works (along with so many others on my very lengthy “short list” of must-read books and authors).
Therefore I cannot confirm or deny the judgment, cited in this film, that Sowell is our greatest living philosopher.
One thing that shines through in the video itself is Sowell’s dedication to the proposition, formulated by divine Wisdom, that it is truth—and only truth—that makes us free.
The problem with so-called progressive views, Sowell remarks, is that they lure us in with an account of the world as (we think) it should be, rather than as it is.
While it is easy to depict conservatives as naysayers and spoilsports, we should never allow our fear of being labelled as such blind us to the reality that the common good cannot be realized (or tolerably approximated) on the basis of fantasies and lies.
Those who fixate on certain problems in our present times layer falsehood upon fiction when they insist on taking such problems out of their relevant contexts: the context of history; the context of other problems; and the context of the true causes underlying the problems in view.
From the days when he was a Marxist open to what he could learn from capitalist economists, through his abandonment of Marxism in the face of practical experience, and throughout his many publications and public appearances, Sowell has made a career of looking for real solutions to real problems, and of exposing the hypocrisy of those betraying their fellow citizens by pushing false narratives and selling phony cures for real plagues.
As can be expected, Sowell’s reward for seeking the truth, and telling the truth as he sees it, has been a deafening wall of silence on the part of academic, governmental, and media elites unable to rebut his arguments, and unwilling to admit defeat.
I’m not sure what he would think about the designation, but I submit that Thomas Sowell is eminently worthy of being honored as a living exemplar of genuine meekness.
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