The Meek Inherit the Earth?

When the stock market endures what’s politely termed a “correction,” it tends to correct people’s outlook on life, too. Even the hard-charging business magazines have suddenly begun running stories on the importance of nonmaterial joys. In this atmosphere, one might expect an upswing in the number of people holding the biblical view that the meek shall inherit the earth. Instead, public opinion on this matter has changed little since themid-’90s. In a poll conducted for Adweek by Alden & Associates Marketing Research of Hermosa Beach, Calif., 55 percent of the respondents agreed that the meek will inherit the earth. That compares with 54 percent in a 1995 survey and 57 percent in 1997. If pro-meek sentiment hasn’t risen in 2001, perhaps that’s because it held up well in those years when conspicuously unmeek entrepreneurs were starting to get filthy rich. In the current poll, women were more likely than men (59 percent versus 47 percent) to see the meek coming out on top. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on their part, but a majority of respondents with household income of $75,000-plus rejected the idea that the meek will inherit the earth. Just 43 percent of the upper-income cohort assented to that prediction, versus 60 percent of people whose household income is less than $75,000.