Once upon a time, or so the Cherokee legend goes, a young Indian boy received a beautiful drum as a gift, and he took it outside to play.
When his friend saw it, he asked if he could play with it, but the boy felt torn. He didn’t want to share his new present, so he angrily cried out, “No!”
His friend ran away crying, and the boy, in his guilt, went to his grandfather for advice.
The elder listened quietly, and then replied.
“I often feel as though there are two wolves fighting inside me. One is mean and greedy and full of arrogance and pride, but the other is peaceful and generous. All the time they are struggling, and you, my boy, have those same two wolves inside of you.”
“Which one will win?” asked the boy.
The elder smiled and said, “The one you feed.”
We all harbor a pack of neurological wolves in our brain. Angry ones and peaceful ones. Loving ones and fearful ones. And whichever one we focus on, that’s the one that neurologically comes to life. No matter how open-minded we become, and no matter how tolerant or compassionate we think we are, there will always be remnants of those nasty, negative neurological wolves.
One part of our brain responds with fear to anything everyone and everything that is different, unusual, or new. This wolf has been in your limbic brain for a very long time.
The other wolf is compassionate and forgiving, but he resides in the newest, youngest, and most vulnerable part of your brain, your prefrontal lobe.
Every day, these two neurological wolves struggle to control your mind, so the question remains: Which wolf will you feed, and which wolf will you tame? If you use your imagination to focus on positive feelings, visions, and thoughts, the wolves in your brain will learn how to cooperate, and eventually live in peace. And if you bring that peace into your conversations and interactions with others, then together we can all bring a little more peace into the world.