There is a story going around that I have heard attributed a number of different ways. I first heard it on Dr. Laura, and since then, I have heard it being identified as both a Cherokee and a Navajo story. Some just say Native American. But here it is in its expanded version.
said to his grandson,
who came to him with anger
at a friend
who had done him an injustice,
have felt a great hate
that have taken so much,
with no sorrow for what they do.
and does not hurt your enemy.
wishing your enemy would die.
with these feelings
there are two wolves inside me;
He lives in harmony
with all around him
does not take offense
when no offense was intended.
it is right to do so,
and in the right way.
the other wolf,
He is full of anger.
The littlest thing
will send him into a fit of temper.
all the time,
for no reason.
because his anger
hate are so great.
It is helpless anger,
for his anger will change nothing.
to live with these two wolves inside me,
try to dominate my spirit.”
into his Grandfather’s eyes
and quietly said,
“The one I feed.”
So now the question of the day is, which wolf are you feeding?
Today it was easy for me to feed the angry wolf. I had to drive to the airport and it seemed that everyone was against me. People were diving in front of me and driving stupid. Then I got stuck in traffic. Note to self:Pounding on steering wheel and yelling at other drivers does not make traffic go faster! I finally get home, decide to relax a bit and turn on the TV. I find politicians bickering, the news is just depressing, the movies are violent and angry. Even on the reality shows everyone is fighting with everyone else.
I think our society is spending too much time feeding the wrong wolf. To quote a few cliches,
“I know I can’t change the world, but I can try to change myself.”
“I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control my reaction to what happens to me.”
With those in mind I vow to try and change my reactions.
What would happen, if when I got stuck in traffic, instead of getting angry and pounding the steering wheel, I listened to one of my self-help CDs and enjoyed the extra time I had to myself? What if, when someone cut me off, I responded with humor, and gave them a friendly wave and a great big grin? What if I only watched TV shows that were uplifting and positive? What if I just removed all the negativity that I allow in my life?
And then, what if I took it a step further, and tried to actively feed the good wolf? What if, in the grocery store, I gave the mom with the screaming baby a friendly smile, and offered to push her cart for her? What if, when friends are gossiping, I change the subject by saying something nice? What if I turn off the TV and go for a walk?
What if everyone tried to feed the good wolf?