The Two Wolves – Just My Opinion
I came across a parable on Facebook the other day about two tigers. This particular version was told and illustrated as a Japanese story with tigers. But I’ve always heard that it’s a Cherokee parable, and it wasn’t tigers, it was wolves. Which makes sense as the last time I checked, we don’t have many wild tigers in this portion of the world.
Regardless, the condensed, non-verbatim story goes like this:
In a small unnamed village, after a nasty physical altercation, one of the elders takes aside one of the perpetrators of the argument to talk to the young man about his anger. The elder tells him that anger is understandable, as all men (mankind) have two wolves inside them. One wolf is good; it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The other is evil; it is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The two wolves are constantly battling with each another, the elder says, since they are equal fighters and neither is powerful enough to destroy the other.
“But if the wolves are of equal power,” the young warrior asks, “which wolf will win?”
The elder replies, “The one you feed.”
I’ve never quite gelled with this parable. While I could be misinterpreting the tone of the story, it seems to me as if the concept is that we need to stop feeding the “evil” wolf and let the “good” one flourish. I don’t buy into that for two reasons:
- If it exists, it exists for a reason.
- Harmony can’t be obtained without balance, and balance by definition can’t be one-sided.
Passive peacefulness and perfect good have never worked in our collective societies. The only thing perfect obedience and subservient acceptance will get mankind is dead. It’s been shown time and again throughout history, and for the sake of all that is good and sane I’m not going to start listing instances to prove my belief here. This is, after all, just my opinion and you can just choose to stop sitting at my dinner table if you don’t like what I’m dishing out.
For those that have remained, however, my opinion is that there’s a time and a place for the good wolf, but there is also a time and a place for the “evil” wolf (and probably in equal amounts). Human beings were born with a certain amount of aggression, tension, and anger because we need these traits in order to speak up and against things we disagree with, to protect ourselves and the people we love, and to fight for our right to not just the most basic of needs, but for every platform on the hierarchy.
By all means, feed the good wolf: promote peace, be soft spoken and gentle, be kind and civil. But whatever you do, don’t starve the “evil” wolf while you’re doing it.
Harmony and balance are imperative to every part of our lives, be it writing, drawing, working, or just existing. And a little more Wolf in a person’s life can’t be a bad thing. (Unless one is a vampire.) ((Not to be taken as a serious comment.)) (((I’m sure there are some very nice, agreeable vampires out there.)))
So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Do you have firsthand knowledge that wild tigers DO, in fact, exist in North America and I’m insane to say they don’t? I’d love to hear from you so, please, take a moment to share below.
Until next time!
AF Henley <3
About the Author
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love- my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012, and Henley’s newest release, Wolf in League is now available at Less Than Three Press or through your favourite online provider.
For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.