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The Two Wolves

Saw my friend Ivan last night. He shared with me a story that he heard a long time ago, and has never forgotten it. I don’t know the exact source, but a quick search indicates it’s a Native American tale. I’ve tightened up a bit, and it goes something like this:

There was once a boy who held extreme anger toward someone who had done him an injustice. Disturbed, he went to his grandfather for guidance.

“Let me tell you a story,” the grandfather said. “Come sit with me.”

The boy pulled up a chair.

“A fight is going on inside you,” the grandfather continued. “It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves.”

The grandfather leaned forward in his chair.

“The first wolf is Evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, dishonesty, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

“And what is the other wolf?” the boy asked.

“The second wolf is Good,” the grandfather said. “He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandfather looked the boy in the eyes.

“These two wolves are inside you. They are inside me. And they are inside every other person in this world.”

“Which wolf will win?” the boy asked.

The grandfather sat back in his chair.

“The one we feed.”

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