Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Wolves Within

A grandson came home from school one day and told his grandfather how angry he was at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice.
His grandfather said, "Let me tell you a story."

"I, too, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
But, hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy.
It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.
I have struggled with these feelings many times.

It is as if there are two wolves inside me: one is good and does no harm.
He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended.
He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf is full of anger.
The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper.
He fights with everyone, all the time, for no reason.
He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great.

It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of then try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The grandfather solemnly replied, "The one I feed."

Origin Unknown (I have seen it with the grandfather said to be Cherokee)
but I found the story at


Michael Lockridge said...

How timely! I have been wrestling with bitterness and anger and have been feeding the wrong wolf in my heart. It is hard, especially if you have a strong sense of justice. A passion for justice can easily slip into a passion for vengeance.

Sometimes good people, longing to do good, can be tempted to take the wrong path to their goals. One of those paths is bitterness.

It is easy to forgive those who have simply stumbled and given offense. It is much harder to forgive those who intentionally give offense and remain unrepentant.

To fail to forgive these unworthy creatures is unhealthy. It is hard to do, this unwarranted forgiveness. Yet it is the right path.

Thank you for the story. It is one I should bury in my heart and visit often.