The true Story of the two Wolves
You may have heard about the Native American story of the two wolves. What you were told, however, is probably the modern version, but not the original story that is passed down through Native American tribes. The original story is fundamentally different, more complex and in my eyes teaches a different lesson. This is the modern version as you most likely know it:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. ”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
Now you may have heard the story ending like this:
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
In the Cherokee world, however, the story is way more complex and continues like this:
The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.” “You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf. But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.You see that the original story teaches a different, and in my eyes more valuable lesson. Life isn’t about black or white. There is a good reason for all our emotions and they all deserve our attention from time to time.
"You see, son, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing.
"How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”
Let the original Cherokee story be as inspiring for you, as it was for me.
Have a great day.