Reflection #2: The Struggle Within

There is an old Cherokee teaching I discovered when I was younger. Every so often I am reminded of it and find myself inspired by the value of the story. I want to share it with you.

Two Wolves


An old Cherokee chief was 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, self-doubt, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“This 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?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This fight happens for everyone, for some the evil wolf may be winning, for others the good. It can be a daily struggle, it can feel hopeless, some stop trying, some blame others for their actions. “They made me this way”, “You wouldn’t understand”, “If only I had..” you fill in the blanks. We’ve heard it all before. We may have even said it ourselves.

It’s true, life is hard. What we are forgetting is that it’s hard for everyone. We excuse ourselves and demand more from strangers. How dare they mess up my order? Cut me off? Make me wait? Look at me like that? Drive so slow? Make me feel inferior? Let their kids scream so much? Wear those clothes? Talk like that? The list goes on.

The great thing about waking up each morning is that it’s a new day. You can’t change your past but you can decide today to feed the good wolf. You get to choose how you react to the obstacles you face. You can realize that strangers are people too, and that each day they struggle with the fight going on inside of them.

Choose kindness. Choose patience. Choose understanding. You may be surprised by how it makes you feel.

Rise and shine, friends.♥