The Battle Within

A while back, I read a story about an Indian boy and his father. They were walking through the woods, talking about life, lessons and of battles not yet fought.

The boy, a teenager, and his father, a very wise and highly respected leader of the tribe, were in deep conversation, back and forth, when the son shared something that made his Father stop and pay close attention to his son.

He shared that lately he felt like there were two wolves inside of him, arguing back and forth. One wolf seemed to be of a supportive nature and was there to offer help when he needed it. It gave him peace, love and clarity. The other wolf though seemed to be causing confusion, disruption… almost as if he was there to rob, steal, and destroy. “It is powerful and kind of dark in nature”, he told his father. “It’s almost like it has no regard for others”.

As they started walking again, the boy told his father that sometimes the battle between the two were so powerful and strong, he didn’t know which one would win. His father remained quiet and listened attentively. “Father, do you know which one of these wolves will win”? He asked. His father,with all of his wisdom said; “Yes, I do know which one is stronger.” After a brief pause, the boy asked; “Which one Father?” The Indian father stopped walking, put his hand on his son’s shoulder, looked him in the eye and said; “The one you choose to feed.”

How many times have you and I had dark, mean even hurtful thoughts come into our minds? They seem to show up just out of no where, for no specific reason. I know I have and I also know by looking around the world, I can’t be alone.

The battle of the mind can be so intense, it’s an ongoing struggle for many. Negative thoughts, self doubt, reminders of your failed past, thoughts of revenge on others… the list is long and plentiful.

I have often wondered if this is the main contributor to why we see so much, death, destruction and evil in our world today. People being killed for their faith, belief’s, genealogy, color of their skin.

Every day, we have a choice. We can feed whichever wolf we want. They’re both there, both are hungry, both want your attention. It’s the one you play with, toy around with and give attention to… that’s the one who wins.

Be careful what you’re feeding. One day, it will likely control your life.

Be blessed.

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5 Comments

  1. Dwight Dzierzek

    I think sometimes we all see both wolves living inside of us. Sometimes we feel we want the evil wolf to win because someone tried to hurt us. But it’s such wasted energy, and were the only ones that are affected by that experience. Thanks Scott for reminding us of this lesson.

    • Scott Stewart

      Glad to do it, Dwight. Thanks for the reply and following along.

  2. Great story and so very true. Having and developing good character, behavior, etc. does not just happen. It requires thought and effort, something that is sadly on the decline in our society today. My question is, “How do we get encourage those that are lazy or apathetic to even try?”

    • Scott Stewart

      Shawn, thanks.
      You have asked the million dollar question. Not sure there is a silver bullet for this but here are a few ideas / thoughts. People (kids) tend to work less and be less motivated when to much is handed to them. Hence, they don’t have to work for it. I believe their is magic in setting a goal / target for something you want and working your butt of to get it. But the magic is not in the getting, it’s in the work, the becoming, the putting forth of the energy. Yes, there is less and less of that today, or so it sure seems. Sad. I believe we need to help others find and realize what is important to them and then help them get it. Mentor an coach them. They will need a guide and some encouragement along the way. Sadly, not sure there is a lot that can be done with a poor work ethic. Though sometimes, a huge life altering event, can rattle someone enough to shake them into a different state of mind. One that’s more motivated and stops taking things for granted.

  3. I agree 100% Scott. When most everything is handed to them, kids and adults, do not appreciate what they have or develop any character along the way. It is the journey that matters, not the destination. Character is forged only when one is moving, striving and struggling. Reading about character and teaching about it in school helps. That gives you a foundation to build upon, but true character is forged like steel.

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