Each and every day, we all have a choice: we can choose to pursue happiness and a life of harmony, or we can opt to be negative and filled with dark emotions. We know this is our choice, yet sadly, we often choose wrongly.
Happy and contented people understand that when we consciously stop chasing the world’s often flawed definition of happiness, we quickly realize that the decision to truly be happy has been right in front of us all along.
Knowing that happiness is a conscious choice is not enough however. To fully experience positivity and happiness, we must be mindful to choose happiness each day — this fact reminds me of a story I once read. The story of the two Wolves is an excellent lesson in the balance of choice — choose wisely and we can live a wonderful life…choose foolishly and we risk living a life filled with emptiness.
The Two Wolves Within
An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with filled with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said to his grandson, “Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. Hatred is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”
He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and he does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.”
“But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights with everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather solemnly said, “The one I feed.”
– A Native American tale told many times around the Sacred Fire
Which Wolf Do You Feed?
It seems like people are getting angrier by the day. Rage is the new normal. Every where we look, someone is mad and offended and often, they can’t even explain why. The battle between happiness and misery rages inside each of us and it’s just like two wolves:
- One is evil and embodies anger, jealousy, pride, greed, arrogance, lies, resentment, inferiority and ego. You feed this Wolf at your own peril.
- The other Wolf is good – he is hope, kindness, compassion, love, peace, empathy, gratitude, serenity, generosity, faith and truth. You feed this Wolf to your betterment.
We all have the choice of which Wolf to feed and the result is very clear: those that feed the evil one lead unhappy, shallow and bitter lives. While life is never going to be perfect, the people who are wise enough to choose the good Wolf, find themselves happy, contented and in harmony with the world.
Please, feed the good Wolf.
“A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love. She gives most who gives with joy.” – Mother Teresa