By TLB Contributor: Ken LaRive
I love my wife, and yet at times we are at odds. Even after almost 44 years together, and dating since she was 14. How can it be that we could find anything at all to argue about? Could it be that we know too much about each other? That there are unresolved differences that go so far back it is now subconscious? And why have we had so many of our friends divorce?
From my 1988 diary…
We were discussing this matter a few days ago, and I mentioned something I had recently saw on a movie about having two wolves inside, one good and one evil. I told her that the stronger one is the one we feed… Well, it stopped us both cold. It was such a profound thought, the conversation ended on a very positive note… Suddenly, all of the bottled up anger just melted away… It was gone, and I felt better… We both did… And we talked about that again this morning, reinforcing it once more…and I think we are closer, far closer, as we grasped this most amazing and simple concept…
It is attributed to the Nanticoke Indians…
One evening, an elderly
Cherokee brave told his
grandson about a battle that
goes on inside of all people.
He said “My son, the battle inside our hearts and minds are
like having two wolves inside of us…
One wolf is evil…
It is anger,
envy, jealousy, sorrow,
regret, greed, arrogance,
self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride,
uncontrolled superiority, and ego.
The other is a good wolf…
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence,
truth, compassion and hard won faith.”
The grandson thought about
it for a minute, and then asked
“Which wolf wins grandpa?…”
The old Cherokee simply replied,
“The one that you feed, my son.”
I immediately saw that happiness was not mentioned. I suppose happiness, as compared to joy, is of a selfish kind, where true joy is selfless. I also saw that it was mentioned that inferiority and superiority are considered to both be in the bad wolf… Perhaps this indicates that we should think of ourselves as having strength and weakness at the same time, as those two ideals might be considered absolutes. And seeing “truth” there, just warmed my heart… “Hard won faith.” too, is a concept that means we have to study with our intellect, and have faith in both our ability, and for what we can not see.
But it got me to thinking… Isn’t everything in this word the same? For instance, if we do not like the violence and immorality in the movies, or find that truth is not shown on the news, or that elected officials are lying… do not go to see the movie, turn off your television, and see to it they are not reelected… It is the wolf you feed, and that determines your life from every aspect. If you do not pay that wolf, feed him, he will starve to death…
If you look at your children, and react to the bad wolf inside of them, that wolf will grow to be more valid. That wolf will be the one to react in their reality, and if left unchecked, for the rest of their lives… sounds too simple? Isn’t our reality what we feed it to be?
I want that bad wolf to die inside of me. And I will work for that for the rest of my days…