KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – “Meek” is Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves’ word at the beginning of the New Year.
He on Wednesday told reporters of the three ways in which classical Greek defined the word, often associated with Jesus.
“One was connected to medicine. A doctor would say he gave you meek medicine, meaning a soothing remedy, a soothing medicine to calm your ailment. A sailor would use the work ‘meek’ in another context, that the breeze is meek, meaning that it is refreshing, it is reinvigorating. And the farmer would use the word meek by reference to a farm animal, for example a donkey who is trained and who can perform tasks for the farmer,” said Gonsalves who worshipped in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.
He announced in Parliament on Jan. 11 that, in a practical act towards reconciliation, he would not collect damages in connection to defamation cases he won against two opposition legislators, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace and West Kingstown representative Daniel Cummings.
“Of course, as always in life, the very things which I describe posses an opposite,” he said.
“The medicine, if uncontrolled, can be dangerous to you. The breeze can develop into a Hurricane Tomas and blow down your bananas and your house. And animals which are not dangerous by nature, if not trained and if not tamed, can do you harm,” he further said.
“… the word ‘meek’, in that classical sense, means the control of power. Power has to be controlled and you know I have always made the point to you that power is an illusion and that the greatest exercise of power is restraint in the use of that power,” Gonsalves said.
“And once you use the word ‘meek’, it has the Christian connection,” Gonsalves said at he quoted the children’s prayer, “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild.”
“And the meekness and lowliness, as Christ portrayed himself, is a source of comfort and solace. So I have tried to begin the New Year with a meekness.
“Naturally, being the head of government, the state authority and state power has to be exercise in certain circumstance, that there are some recalcitrant forces which have to be contained in order to protect the meekness of all of us, in the context in which I have described it. So I begin the year like that,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security.