The inauguration of President Obama has been dominating news coverage and rightfully so. It represents an historic milestone for our country. I was watching coverage of the morning after prayer service. The first woman to ever give the sermon at that event, the Reverend Sharon Jackson, spoke about a Cherokee story, which I thought I would share with you. It goes like this.
A young man is confiding in his Grandfather that he sometimes treats his friends harshly and sometimes kindly. He did not understand why.
His Grandfather said, “When I was your age…I felt like there were two Wolves fighting inside of me…one was mean and ornery, rebellious and committed to all things negative. The other was kind and gentle, respected nature and all living things, and always did what was best.” The grandfather continued, “These Wolves are still with me now; in fact, they live in each one of us.”
The young man asked, “Which wolf will win in the end?”
The Grandfather said, “The one you feed”.
Sometimes it is really confusing when we are torn between doing the right thing and giving in to our negative side. Understand that those two sides of us will always exist, but the one we let out the most, the one we feed, will become the most dominant part of our personality.
It’s interesting that Reverend Jackson chose to tell the new President this story. President Obama, just like you, will face daily challenges to his values. He will be called on, just like you, to treat people well or poorly. He will go forward every day, just like you, to decide whether to feed his kind and gentle wolf or to let out the negative ornery wolf. I hope he, just like you, will feed the right wolf.