A group of Cherokee children gathered around their grandfather, filled with excitement and curiosity. That day there had been a tumultuous conflict between two adults and their grandfather was called upon to mediate. The children were eager to hear what their grandfather had to say about it.
One of the children asked a question that puzzled him, “grandfather, why do people fight?”
“Well”, the old man replied, “we all have two wolves inside us, you see. They live in our chest. These two wolves are constantly fighting each other.” By this time, the childrens’ eyes had grown as big and bright as the moon. “In our chests too, grandfather?” asked a second child. “And in your chest too?” asked a third. Grandfather nodded, “yes, in my chest too”. He continued, “there is a white wolf and a black wolf. The black wolf is filled with fear, anger, envy, jealousy, greed, and arrogance. The white wolf is filled with peace, love, hope, courage, humility, compassion, and faith. They battle constantly.”
Then he stopped. The child who asked the initial question couldn’t handle the tension any longer. “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied,
“the one that we feed.”