Meekness describes unusually submissive or deferential behavior toward others. Meekness may be a dominant trait of one’s personality, or a survival response to immediate threat or ongoing oppression.
As a desirable character quality, the value of meekness varies across and within cultures and religions. Advocates of assertiveness and individual self-sufficiency view meekness as self-limiting, demeaning, yielding of one’s rights and well-being, and inviting of exploitation by others. Authoritarian regimes thrive on the compliant obeisance of their subjects. Advocates of peace and passive resistance have valued meekness as a potent mass strength against violent power.
One may appear meek, but possess the heart of a lion.