Recently, while talking to a friend about the letter I just received from my third grade spelling teacher (see my blog, “Singing to the Morning Star”), I shared the learning that love was around me even when I hadn’t seen it. She exclaimed: “I can’t believe we’re talking about this. Listen to what I found inserted in my concert program last night.”
“One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. ‘My son, the battle is between the two “wolves” inside all of us.
‘One wolf is Evil. It is anger envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
‘The other is Good. It is honesty, joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion and faith.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’”
I love this story. If we feed ourselves resentment or envy, we feel resentful and angry. Conversely, if we care for ourselves with kindness and compassion, we have more to give others. My former mentor, Norman Cousins, used to tell me, “We head in the direction of our expectations.”
Every day I practice doing something nice for myself and others. It can be as simple as taking a walk, listening to a friend, lighting candles for my husband and me on our dinner table at home, or letting someone go ahead of me in the grocery store line.
Daily acts of kindness are the yeast for leavening love. The more love we knead into the world, the more there is to go around. But it takes a conscious choice.
Which wolf will you feed tomorrow, and beyond?