A Real Life Example of Meekness
Real-life stories are often the best means of illustrating a virtue. On a June morning in 1993, David Gelernter, a Yale University computer scientist, opened what he thought was an unsolicited doctoral dissertation. The package exploded in his hands, nearly blowing off his right hand and severely damaging his eyesight, hearing, and chest. Gelernter had joined the list of casualties of the “Unabomber,” Theodore Kaczynski.
If anyone had a right to see himself as a victim, one might say, it is David Gelernter. But he will not wear that badge, and he will not invite the outpouring of public sympathy that goes with it. Nor does he want to be seen as a survivor. He does not want to be relegated to categories that are suspiciously “politically correct.” He wants to be known as a human being, a husband, and a father. We know a great deal about David Gelernter and his struggles with adversity, assault, and affliction, because he has written eloquently and insightfully about it in his book, Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber.
There were times when he could be discouraged, but at no point was he depressed. Depression, he writes, “is a pathological state.” On the other hand, “discouragement is a moral state, a failure of the heart; you treat it by taking courage, not Prozac.”
DeMarco, D. (2000). The Many Faces of Virtue (p. 25). Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.