This week’s quote was posted by a friend no Facebook. Though many have heard or seen it before, it was totally new to me. And, I love the simplicity of the message – definitely something we should all keep in mind.
An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.”
The boy though about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
That on which we focus our attention we bring about in our lives. Our thoughts become who we are. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
When we focus our attention, or feed, anger, lust, hate, jealousy, etc., we become nasty, hateful, spiteful people. And it’s infections. Think of the times you’ve been in a room with someone who’s really, really angry and nasty. They never smile, their words are full of venom, and the nastiness in the room can literally be “felt.” Stay around it long enough and what happens? You get sucked in. You start feeling just as angry, just as nasty, just as spiteful. All of a sudden you’re thinking about all the terrible wrongs in your own life. And, you just can’t wait to spread it around to anyone and everyone who will listen.
Conversely, what happens when you enter a room that’s full of happiness and love? you can literally feel it. This, too, is infectious. you begin to laugh. You feel happier, you even begin smiling.
Most of us would like to have more beauty, more happiness, and more joy in our lives. If we want to live a more joy-filled, peaceful life, we must focus our thoughts and attention on those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8) And, we must meditate on these things, giving ourselves entirely to them, that our progress may be evident to all. (1 Timothy 4:15)
Wishing Doesn’t Make It So
Not only must we meditate on these things, we must act on them. Even small acts and gestures can go a long way in changing our state of mind, and how we live. Demonstrating acts of kindness, volunteering, helping others. Being kind, compassionate, and loving on a daily basis – not just towards others, but towards ourselves, too.
- Want a little more beauty around you? How about picking up any trash you might see walking through a parking lot?
- Have an elderly neighbor? You could offer to mow their lawn, or pick up a few groceries next time you’re headed to the store.
- Feeling angry or depressed? Take a 5-10 minute walk. Focus your thoughts on the beauty that is all around you – the brilliant colors of the flowers, the magnificent color spectrum in the sky above you…whatever. Just shift your attention away from what’s making you angry or depressed and focus instead on the beauty that’s all around you.
Changing your focus and attention changes you – you will be “…transformed by renewing your mind…” (Romans 12:2) and “…renewed in the spirit of your mind…” (Ephesians 4:23)
If there truly are problems that you’re facing, will this make them go away? No. But, you’ll be able to face them with a completely different outlook.
The Battle Rages On
We can give in to the bitterness, the anger, the jealousy, and the hate. Or, we can focus on those things of beauty, love, compassion, and joy. That which we nourish will flourish. The choice is ours. The battle between the two wolves, between Good and Evil, rages on.
Which wolf do you want to feed?
- Proverbs 23:7
- 1 Timothy 4:15
- Romans 12:2
- Ephesians 4:23
Join the Discussion
Feel free to share your thoughts and comments and, if this message resonates with you, feel free to share it!