Two Wolves (Wisdom)


Once, a boy came to his grandfather, angry at a friend who had done him an injustice.

“Let me tell you a story,” the grandfather said. “I, too, at times, have felt great hatred toward those who have taken much from me while feeling no sorrow for what they have done. But hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”

He continued: “It is as if I have two wolves inside me, one good that does no harm and the other harmful. The first wolf lives in harmony with everything around him and does not take offence when no offence was intended. He fights only when it is right to fight and in the right way. He saves all his fighting energy for such battles.

“But the other wolf—ah, he is full of anger. The littlest thing sends him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone all the time and for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hatred are so great. But his anger is helpless; it changes nothing.

“Sometimes 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 smiled and said, quietly, “The one I feed.”

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