Which Wolf?

I received a very nice gift this year from a friend and colleague at work.  It’s a book of 365 inspirations.  I like the fact that the authors didn’t bother to make it a calendar, since a person is more likely to read 10 or 20 inspirations at a time, rather than only looking at one per day.

As a fairly cynical person, some books of thoughtful inspirations make me gag a little bit, because they tend to be overly sweet or cliché-laden.  This one has a few of those, but mostly they are thought-provoking and interesting.

One particular page stopped me cold.  I read it, read it again, and then closed the book to think about it for a minute.  Here’s what it said:

“A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt.

He said, ‘I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.  One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.  The other is the loving, compassionate one.’

The grandson asked him, ‘Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?’

‘The one I feed.’”

The story is attributed not to a specific person, but is said to be an Indian parable.  Like the parables in the Bible, it is a story with a message.  It was a message that resonated with me.

In me, the two wolves have different personalities, depending on the day.  One might be optimistic, the other pessimistic.  One might be self-centered, the other generous.  One wolf will be kind, and the other nasty.

I think it’s important that we recognize that we have these conflicting feelings inside, and be sensitive to how they affect us, and the people around us.  And, it might be a help to consider feeding them something like books with 365 inspirations instead of Judge Judy and TMZ.

If you’re interested, the book is called “Self and Spirit” and the editor is Emma Maule.  It is published by Duncan Baird.

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