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January 30, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Two Wolves

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Today's song is Lil' Red Riding Hood by Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs, released in 1966.

My friend, Claude, sent me a short narrative of Native American wisdom from the Cherokee Nation. I believe the story shown below tells the truth in life.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy,sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied,  "The one you feed."


Janury 31st is the 96th anniversary of my father's birth. It's hard to believe in four more years that day reaches the century mark. He's already been gone more than fifty years, but I still love him. He was a good man, I only measure up as a fraction to him. Maybe in my time left, I can improve in some areas where I am lacking.

Also the 31st is the thirtieth anniversary of my first promotion in the martial arts. I was apprehensive back then that my hard work and efforts as a White Belt towards that Yellow Belt advancement were going to be enough to earn that rank in the eyes of my Sensei, John Venson. It was a great relief to be one of the students who were promoted that Saturday afternoon (certificate shown below). For some White Belt students, they had to await another day and in the meantime work to improve those basic skills to earn that rank. I remember helping them to do just that as part of my teaching requirement for Blue Belt.

It was the first of many advancements I would earn over the next three years. Each one required more energy, more knowledge, more skill to achieve. One day I hope to be awarded the Black Belt that eluded me in the 1970's. The challenges are greater these days, but the determination to succeed is still in my heart.

If the grandfathers I never met could speak, I wonder what they would say about which wolf they think I've been...


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