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Meekness 

Inheriting the Earth may not be everything it’s cracked up to be.

Look up “meekness” in the dictionary and you sure won’t find Berkeley, that curly-haired student who just won’t stop jabbering about everything that’s wrong with the world. Berkeley hasn’t been meek since well before Mario Savio hung up his megaphone.

Walnut Creek used to be meek. Then it inherited the earth, and its downtown erupted into an orgy of flip-flops and tiki bars.

Fremont also was once a synonym for meek; you could look it up. Then it got all uppity and tried to seduce the Oakland A’s. She’d sleep with the Giants if she could, that Fremont.

Oakland certainly “endures injury with patience,” but anyone who thinks she’s meek has trouble telling the difference between being down and being out. Oakland may sometimes seem beaten or even broken, but that’s when she’s most likely to pick herself up and rally. Don’t turn your back on Oakland.

Richmond: not meek. Angry, tough, scrappy, desperate. But certainly not meek.

Moraga, Orinda, Danville: The East Bay’s three entitled sisters. They could regain meekness one day, perhaps after a stint in rehab.

Dublin flirted with meekness, back in the days when it was pasture. Then Hooters came to town, and all bets were off. Concord was always too rough around the edges to let meekness in. But we still love you for your other virtues, Concord. Emeryville hasn’t been meek since well before it painted its name in forty-foot letters across the wall of a shopping mall. Rodeo, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch: You once looked like the heart of the East Bay’s economy, but you blew it all on gambling and booze. We’re still mad at you about that.

Livermore could be meek if it weren’t for the weapons lab.

Pleasanton wants us to think it’s meek, but we ain’t fallin’ for that, and you shouldn’t either.

Lafayette -- it’s just crazy. Subdued most of the time, barely awake in its own slumber, and then -- bam! Double homicides, extortion plots, prostitution rings, child porn. Anyone got a Prozac for Lafayette?

Come to think of it, meekness is a difficult virtue to find in a city. The eastern Contra Costa County farm communities off Highway 4 used to be meek, and look at what happened to them. Quaint, picturesque Sunol is still meek, but if it doesn’t pay attention, one day soon it’s going to be zealous as all hell.

Maybe the moral is that a city can’t afford to be meek. -- Justin Berton

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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