One evening, an old Cherokee grandfather sat with his grandson by the fire and told him a story. The grandfather spoke about the inner battle that every person faces between the good and bad within themselves.
“Inside each of us, there are two wolves,” he said. “One is a good wolf, filled with love, joy, peace, kindness, compassion, and truth. The other is a bad wolf, filled with anger, envy, jealousy, greed, arrogance, and lies.”
The grandson listened intently and asked, “Grandfather, why do we have two wolves inside of us?”
The old man replied, “My dear grandson, the good wolf represents all the positive traits and virtues that make us human, such as love, kindness, empathy, and generosity. These are qualities that we can develop and nourish throughout our lives, as we interact with others and seek to make a positive impact in the world.”
“The bad wolf, on the other hand, represents the negative traits that can also exist within us, such as anger, hatred, jealousy, and greed. These are qualities that can take root within us if we allow them to, and can cause us to harm ourselves and others.”
The grandson listened with fascination as his grandfather continued to explain the story. “The good wolf and the bad wolf are in constant conflict, and it is up to each of us to decide which wolf we will feed. The wolf that we choose to feed is the one that will grow stronger and more powerful, ultimately determining the path that our lives take.”
The grandson thought about this for a moment, and then asked, “Grandfather, which wolf will win in the end?”
The old man smiled and replied, “The one you feed. The wolf that you give attention to, that you nourish and care for, is the one that will become the strongest. It is up to you to decide which wolf will win the battle within you.”
The grandfather’s words stayed with the grandson for the rest of his life. He came to understand that he had the power to choose his thoughts, his actions, and the way he interacted with others. By choosing to feed the good wolf within himself, he was able to grow in kindness, compassion, and love, and to live a life that was fulfilling and meaningful.
And so, the story of the two wolves continues to be told by the Cherokee people, reminding us all that we have the power to choose our path in life, and to nourish the good within ourselves and others.