There is a popular Cherokee parable that I’m sure you’ve heard.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorry, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
There is a lot of negativity in the world right now. The U.S. elections definitely aren’t helping anything, but this isn’t just about elections. It’s also about people who think body shaming or race finish time shaming is okay. After all, if you’re doing it from behind a computer screen, who cares? It’s not as if you’ll ever meet that person. Heck, you can even do it with your real name on Facebook and get away with it.
But even if you can get away with negativity – why? People often say “If you put negativity into the world, you will get negativity back.” Now, I’m not saying that you should look at life with rose colored glasses. There is a lot of stuff out there to get angry about. And I’m certainly no blissed out hippie walking around emanating peace, but it’s not a bad idea to take a look at your reactions to what’s going on around you. You should also look at where you’re spending your time online. Do you frequent sites that mock other people? Maybe that’s not the best place to be spending your time. You only serve to feed the angry wolf inside you.
I agree that there are some people out there who I think are ridiculous, who perhaps I would mock if given the opportunity – but I try to rise above those urges. Humor at another person’s expense really isn’t funny, and even if the other person doesn’t know, by giving into that sort of humor, I’m really only hurting myself by letting that sort of negativity in.
I’m not recommending some drastic life change. Just maybe consider this parable. After all, it’s popular for a reason. And consider which wolf you are feeding in yourself. Maybe that evil wolf is getting a little too chubby for his own good.