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Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and 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. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
“But the other wolf, ah! He is evil and full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
A corollary for gardeners might be what a young man told me his grandmother had once said to him, “Whatever you water grows.”
It’s no surprise that growing a garden has been a metaphor for how a person lives their life. As this year’s harvest season draws to a close and we enjoy the bounty of the earth, it may be a good time to cast our thoughts back over the course of the past year and ask ourselves, “How has my garden grown?”
In some cases we’ve lost interest in the hard work of ensuring that a good harvest results. We’ve become discouraged by the weeds, the insects, the gophers, the sheer work of maintaining a garden and so we have little to harvest. It might be that we have been feeding the wrong wolf.
Where have our thoughts, actions, words, and attention been placed during the past year? Have they focused on joy, peace, love, and hope or rather on anger, envy, sorrow, and regret? It’s no coincidence that the proverb says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Sometimes our greatest obstacle to growing our garden and our lives is that we feel we are all alone, that the struggle to keep good thoughts and actions foremost in our lives is an exercise in futility, something akin to getting rid of gophers. No matter what you do, they seem to keep popping up all over the garden, and before you know it they’ve eaten the roots of all your well-tended plants.
Interestingly, I recently read an article in which the author discovered that all of the people he has spoken to over the years from different cultures, religions, ethnic groups, income classes, and generations have two things that are foremost in their minds. First, everyone, everywhere wants a society different from the one we’ve got. They want community, an economy, a world based on the values of “the good wolf”—compassion, generosity, love. The second is that they think they are alone and are the only ones who feel that way. They look around and see no validation for the values they want so they give up and just go along with things the way they are.
Now, what if we—all of us—fed the “good wolf” inside us? Might not we begin to recognize that the world we really want is not only possible, but is right here, now? In our neighbors and friends, in our families and co-workers, in the people who ring up our groceries and fix our cars—everywhere we look is the foundation of the world we want.
We are not alone. We just need to feed the “good wolf” and recognize that wolf in others.