"There was an old man and a young boy, one day the young boy asked the old man,
' what makes people good and what makes people bad?'
The old man replied,
'Inside everyone there are two wolves, a good wolf and a bad wolf.
The bad wolf represents things like jealousy, greed, selfishness, hatred etc.
The good wolf represents things like selfless, caring, love, friendship, integrity etc.'
The young boy looked up and was confused. He asked the old man,
'Well then, which one wins?'
The old man rich in wisdom said, 'The one you feed'."
Parables are great ways to get the point across. I love to listen to parables based on wisdom, you know that stuff you accrue over the years that gets you from point A to point B in life. I think many of us have this deep regard for what wisdom can bring us and how it has shaped our unique life. The parable above is a really cool one because it has the mythical historic feel to it so it commands your attention but leaves with an almost cliff hanger question in mind: Which one do I feed?
There is a great podcast that I like to listen to now and again that basically revolves around the message of this parable and each episode they have new guest try to answer this question. I am no celebrity, I am probably not successful in the eyes of the majority but I don't feel ashamed in the wolf I chose.
Think for a minute about integrity. Think hard about it, go ahead and google it if you need to. It means that no matter what circumstances your facing or no matter what your environment contains your choices will always align with what you personally feel is right. Your morals remain intact no matter what your peers are doing, no matter what your spouse thinks is best, no matter if it presents a financial benefit to yourself. If you have integrity your not selling out your morals for some material cash, you have what you need and you make choices right (This is no typo <-- You make choices Right). You know to do what is right because it is what is right, there is no bonus, no points, no sticker, no pat on the back, you do what's right even when it gets you punched in the face. Thats feeding your good wolf.
Take Ben Franklin's observation (by the way this was a long time ago, I believe this happens more so than ever today)
"Some people die when they are 25 but are not buried until 75."
Or take William Wallace's version:
"All men die; few men ever really live."
When I first heard the wolf parable I truly believe it was a Godsend. Due to various circumstances which I like everyone else have faced, I started to lose that hope and started to think more along the lines of:
- Is there no more adventure in my life?
- Am I a good father/spouse/son/friend?
- Can I do more?
- I feel stagnant.
- How much time do I have left?
That last one always gets me. I was doing things like watching T.V., telling my son to "go play", finding it too much of a hassle to call up my friends because I was "busy". Whose running my life? Why am I wasting time? Why am I not actively pursuing happiness? I need to start feeding my good wolf, he's getting hungry.