Friday, October 24, 2008

Which one will you feed?

First of all, thanks to my mom for pointing out the type-o in my last blog title. All of you who caught it please rest assured that I know how to spell the word ridiculous. Sometimes my fingers are a little faster than my brain....
For this post I want to share something that was read in a student's recent graduation from our Rising Phoenix long term rehab program. It is my experience that when a concept resonates true to me it is almost invariably simple, making it irrefutably profound. This short story was no exception.

Two Wolves: A Cherokee Teaching
An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil--he is fear, anger, greed, envy, regret, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.The other is good--he is happiness, peace, love, hope, sharing, humility, kindness, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and every other person, too." The elderly Cherokee man's grandchildren thought about this for a moment, and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The grandfather simply replied: " The one you feed."

I often fear that I tend to view this battle as something I cannot control, that once I feel fear, guilt, self-pity or dishonesty boiling up inside that I have somehow lost the battle. Conceding defeat is feeding that evil wolf- it is wallowing in that self-pity, stewing in resentment, fueling my fears. Instead, when we are feeling those negative things, why can't we take what we would feed that evil wolf, and instead focus our energy on that good wolf? When we feel afraid, we should turn it into faith. When we are feeling resentment, anger, or envy we should turn to compassion and love.

Ultimately whether we win or lose in this life comes down to which wolf we feed. Which one will I feed? I want to make the simple statement, yet deep and life-long battle of a commitment to feed the good wolf and to starve the evil one. He might never go away in this life, but I can make him weak and ineffectual. Let us all focus on the good, and starve the bad in our lives. It's a much better use of our time.


  1. I love that story and I think it is not just for our boys, I really am thinking about that more! I love you!!!!! Check out our blog....