Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Wolves

I arrived home very late last night after an excruciatingly long school board meeting. I was too wired to go to sleep, so I finished a book I was reading called The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. This is a passage I came upon that struck me deeply:


There is a story about a Navajo grandfather who once told his grandson, "Two wolves live inside me. One is the bad wolf, full of greed and laziness, full of anger and jealousy and regret. The other is a good wolf, full of joy and compassion and willingness and a great love of the world. All the time, these wolves are fighting inside me." "But grandfather," the boy said, "Which wolf will win?" The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."


I have been feeding the bad wolf for most of 2011. I was feeding it as recently as last night at the board meeting. I had prepared a statement that ripped the board and the district for the many injustices and wrongs I perceive them as perpetuating. In the end, I spoke, but not from anything I had prepared to speak. Why? Because they were poised to do yet another thing that was so blatantly in direct contrast to what they had promised to do that I had to address that.


And that bad wolf grew and grew, getting fat on my anger and mistrust and disbelief and feeling of betrayal. And I arrived home after everyone in the house had gone to sleep, wired and ticked and feeling hopeless; in other words, I was feeding that frickin' bad wolf again.


I want to start feeding the good wolf. I don't know if it is possible without essentially walking away and no longer paying attention to what happens around me. These folks are truly not to be trusted. Do I just give up? Can I just give up?

7 comments:

Eluciq said...

oh dear...

i hear that passage...i need to remember that...as i get caught up feeding the bad wolf on a pretty regular basis...it is not pretty, but well sometimes it is what it is!

i am not sure you can walk away, but maybe you can give the good wolf a snack or two and come up with some good things that are happening...just a thought...if there are any good things or positives to focus on with that group...

i wish you luck...but i thank you for the passage...how was the rest of the book?

happy hump day!!!!

Eluciq said...

not 'hear', but "HEART"...dammit that is what i get for not re-reading my comment before pushing the publish button... :)

Patois said...

Oh, Tiffany, I "hear" and "heart" you!

The book overall was fairly decent. I liked the premise and adored most of the book. But the last couple of chapters seemed at odds with the pace of the rest of the book. However, still one I'm glad to have read rather than not.

That Uncomfortable Itch said...

Why is it that the bad wolf is always first in line for snacks? Sometmes it's so hard to push that one away so the good one can get a few scraps.

mayberry said...

I like the idea of at least giving the good wolf a snack - I'm going to have to work on that myself.

Tara R. said...

I've been feeding the bad wolf too much too lately. This was something i needed to read, it really makes you think about what your focus is on.

Jeni said...

As one who also has been known to feed that big old bad wolf on numerous occasions too, hard as it may be to keep from feeding that bugger, as in putting him on a virtual starvation diet, maybe you can send him on vacation for a while? With all the frustrations you seem to be enduring with the school system, my thoughts there would be put yourself on hold -not necessary totally devoid of being interested, etc., much less being an activist, but just take a break, rest up from all the stuff going on that is on your mind. Then, maybe when you come back from that break, you'll have a fresh outlook, some new ideas, maybe even some ways you have thought of that could work as a compromise and make all sections at least a little happy or happier then.

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