Beyond the tale of the two wolves


In every one of us, there is a fight to death between two wolves.

One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth and compassion.

The one that will win is the one we feed.

Adapted from a traditional Cherokee tale.

The words are beautiful, the message powerful and we can even feel an impulse while reading it.
This little story is spread and repeated in this form. Simple, powerful and efficient.
However, the true wisdom of this tale lies, to me, in its longer version, by far less known…

However, if we only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf. But if we acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that we have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.

The white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for our attention. And when there is no battle inside, we can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide us in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace is a mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing.

How we choose to interact with the opposing forces within us will determine our lives. We can choose to starve one instead of the other, or guide them both.

The message is quite different isn’t it ?
It seems to me more… real…

1 comment

  1. Hello there,

    I’ve never heard of the longer version of the story before. It’s interesting how the longer version actually asks us to be fair and to give chance for two conflicting forces to work together.

    I’ve heard of the shorter version though. Strange that people forget to mention the second part of the story just to highlight that the white wolf would always be a positive force just because its colour (and supposedly, characters associated with it) is pure.

    I feel this way too sometimes. A part of me want to be all nice and forgiving but the strong, tough qualities that I have are the ones which pushed me to be where I am right now. Had I continued to be content and satisfied with my previous condition, I wouldn’t have been able to see my true potential.

    It’s a simple story, but its message is really deep. Nice post. Keep it up.


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