I am not religious, but I think that a lot can be learnt from religion. The bible says “Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”. And this seems to be true.
Meek people are humble people, and humble people are okay with putting the needs of others and the needs of society above their own needs. In this case the bible meant that people who were not self-serving, self-centered, or selfish will inherit the earth and that seems to be very true.
Meek people do very well in traditional setting because they are okay with accepting guidance from the past or from “God” (if they believe). Meek people are better at co-operation, they are more inclined to have more children (since having children take a lot of self-sacrifice), and their children are more inclined to survive (because they follow a system or culture that prioritizes the lives of children).
It is the genetics of the meek that shall make it in to the future and so, it is the meek who shall inherit the earth.
Self-centered people also make it into the future (or it would not be encoded so well into our genetics), but in recent history it is the meek that have built larger and more successful societies. Self-centered societies simply could not compete with traditional societies.
Change of view:
There is a cycle between two types of societies, between two things. A self-centered society and a society-centered society. The meek are the society centered and during hard times yes they do inherit the earth but during good times they do not, during good times nature does not want us to just survive, during good times nature wants us to compete and have only the very best survive. So both the meek and the self-centered inherit the earth and if I am to judge things by my internal selfishness vs. my internal socialness it would seem that more often than not the self-centered inherit the earth!