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2 Wolves

A young Native American boy was in a terrible dilemma because an associate of his committed a horrible wrong against him. The young boy felt an irresistible desire for revenge against his associate, and yet, he was conflicted with the thought that he should forgive this associate. For several days this young boy went back and forth with the desire for justice or forgiveness; he did not know which to choose. For the desire to repay an eye for an eye was strong inside of him, and at the same time he felt sure that forgiveness was indeed the better road.

Finally, he went to a very wise man to ask his advice for this situation. After explaining the entire event to the wise man in detail the wise man simply said, “Two wolves.” Two wolves! What in the world does two wolves mean? The young boy was very confused now. So the wise man, knowing that he had gotten the young boy’s full attention explained, “Two wolves live inside of you, one is very aggressive, violent, and demanding. The other wolf is extremely passive, compassionate, and understanding. They fight all the time until one day one will devour the other.

Well, the young boy was very concerned now and he asked the wise man which wolf would survive? The wise man told the young boy, “The one you feed.”

This story was recited by Dr. Andrew Newberg on Book TV Last Sunday. It can also be found at First People the Legends


Filed under: Philosophy

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