The One You Feed

The One You Feed

In a story from Native American folklore, a grandfather explains to his young grandson the inner struggle between good and evil.

“A battle goes on inside us all,” the grandfather begins. “It is a battle between two wolves. One wolf is the embodiment of everything evil, like hate, anger, jealousy, resentment, greed, arrogance, lying, and selfishness. The other wolf is the embodiment of everything good, like love, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, compassion, truth, and faith.”

The grandson thinks about those words and then asks, “Which wolf wins?”

The grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”

Apply that lesson to the main themes of this issue—discouragement and depression and their antitheses, positiveness and praise—and you’ve got the key to a happier, more upbeat, and more successful you.

Discouragement is like a wolf pup. Feed it, and it will grow into depression—a fierce, ravenous full-grown wolf that will turn on you every chance it gets. But feed its counterpart and you will have a strong and sure defender against such attacks.

How can you tell these two wolves apart so you’ll know which to feed? Whenever you have a thought that causes you to feel discontent, bitter, unhappy, or critical, you can be sure it’s the wrong wolf, stalking his prey. Don’t be his next meal! Feed the other one instead by filling your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening, and faith-building thoughts.

You may not be able to stop the evil wolf from coming around, but if you’re smart you won’t wait till he does to start feeding the good wolf. And remember, the more you feed the good wolf, the stronger he will grow. Feed him every chance you get, and the evil wolf will be no match for him. When it comes to a showdown, the evil wolf will turn tail and run every time.

Keith Phillips

Keith Phillips

Keith Philips was Activated’s editor-in-chief for 14 years from 1999 to 2013. He and his wife Caryn now work with the homeless in the U.S.

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