Two Wolves

Let me introduce myself.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, hope, love, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.

The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

Wa-a-a-a-a-all, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s good to be self-aware and realize there is a battle going on inside you, and it’s good to know there are parts of you that don’t deserve encouragement. You can be free to be you and me without letting Jerk Wolf take over.

And yet, I’ve met some Cherokees, and they don’t seem quite as sure as Grandfather Quietly Replied that the battle is really so simple. Good You vs. Evil You, eh? And you just have to choose one?

What about when someone tells you that, when you thought you were letting Good Wolf take the wheel, it made them want to run away screaming, because Good Wolf is a tedious sap?

What if someone confides that, on the day that Evil Wolf squeezed under the fence and gorged on garbage all day and then skulked back to his crate with a full belly, that was the day some teetering, almost-lost soul saw it all and thought, “Wow, that’s kind of awesome. If a decent, productive, and stable society can deal with wolfies like that, maybe there’s a place for me after all”?

I’m just saying. There are wolves, and there are wolves. As for me, my wolves are named Kierkegaard and Lily von Shtupp, and they are both exceedingly hungry. We’ve worked out a system where they take turns getting fed. Oddly, they both thrive on gin. Even odder, they refuse to eat unless the other one is close by.  And if there are no quiet grandfathers lurking about, nodding in grave approbation — well, as a Hebrew Catholic gal from New Hampshire, I never was a very good Cherokee anyway.

So now it’s your turn to introduce yourself. Or if you’re in a rush, sum up: What are your wolves named? And how well do they get along? And wouldn’t you like to slip into something a little more comfortable?