A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life. He said to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me. It is a fight between two wolves. One is the wolf of joy, love, hope, kindness and compassion. The other is the wolf of fear, anger, cynicism, indifference and greed. The same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.” The children thought about it for a moment and then one child asked, “Which wolf will win?” The elder replied, “Whichever one you feed.”
This story is valuable for me at present as I try to consciously redirect a conversation I am currently having with a number of individuals regarding a community development issue.
At its core, the intention of all parties in the conversation is to get the same outcome, as the motive behind the request shows clear integrity. The difficulty is arising in the differences in opinions in how we reach that outcome, what can and can't be done in terms of the law, what can and can't be done with the right will, what can and can't be done because we are humans needing to evolve and move forward with a sense of community spirit and desire for a greater good. The concern for me is the angry language and lack of respect that is showing through as the conversation continues and the destruction of any slither of community spirit that may remain in a community which has borne its fair share of damage to its soul.
Last week the conversation quickly deteriorated, becoming aggressive, angry and confrontational and resulting in people's wellbeing being significantly impacted. Blame and accusations are flying and respect and accountability seem to have exited the stage. I am asking myself why? Why is a simple issue causing so many people to act as the dark wolf, out of fear, anger, cynicism and how can we bring in the light wolf with its capacity of joy, love, hope, kindness and compassion.
I am not sure how this situation has arisen and I am not sure that there is anything that I could have done to prevent it. What I am sure about is that I can influence how it plays out from here by deciding to feed the right wolf.
Which wolf are you choosing to feed through your actions?