There is a Cherokee tale about two wolves that live inside each of us. One wolf represents anger, envy, sorrow, arrogance, greed, guilt, regret and resentment. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, truth, and compassion. The two wolves are engaged in a battle within us.
The question: which wolf will win?
The answer: The one you feed
It occurred to me today that this is true on an individual level and also on a societal level. Our culture is so fear-based, so focused on every little thing that can potentially go desperately wrong, that the fear has evolved into a life of its own.
And now, just hours before midterm elections, really important elections, we can see the terror personified in our politicians and alive in their proposed measures. These people run on a platform of fear-based ideologies determined to divide and conquer Americans.
The angry wolf has stolen our dinner.
I admit to being afraid of all this fear. So despite my better instincts, I too, am adding fuel to the collective flames. But, for all of us, its time to cool down. To recognize that, in the words of Paul Hawken,
“Healing the wounds of the earth and it’s people does not require saintliness or a political party, only gumption and persistence. It is not a liberal or conservative activity; it is a sacred act. It is a massive enterprise undertaken by ordinary citizens everywhere, not by self-appointed governments or oligarchies.”
In other words, if we identify that we have a shared goal despite our differences, then there is nothing to be afraid of. If we can find it within ourselves to realize that we have more in common than we do in dispute; and that we indeed, should have each other’s backs rather than each other’s throats, then there is no sense in fear. And when the fear has dissapated, only then, can we attempt to discuss our disagreements with any hope for betterment. This is the work of people, not governments or their officials.
This is what can happen if we offer up our meal to the peaceful wolf.
“You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…”