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The Two Wolves Within

A young lad, Robby, felt injustice was meted out to him by a person he thought was his friend. Visibly livid, he narrated the day’s incident to his grandfather, Bob. Just like most grandpas in this world, Bob was a well of wisdom. He let his grandson vent his anger till such time Robby had nothing else to say.

The old man then placed his hand on Robby’s shoulder and began: "Let me tell you a story. I have to admit that I have felt hate in my time for those inconsiderate people who never seem to have remorse or repentance for what they do,” continued the wise grandfather. “As time passed by, I realised that the hate and anger I carried in my heart actually wore me down. It had little effect on people who evoked these emotions. I began to see that I was giving myself ales of poison with the hope that the other person should die. It hasn’t been easy at all, boy.

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I introspected further to understand where these negative feelings stemmed from. I knew I was a good man, but why was I carrying hate and anger in me? Well, I called it the case of having two wolves inside of me!” Robby listened with rapt attention as Bob went on with his rather interesting story.

The first wolf is absolutely harmless, and what’s even better is that it seeks peace and harmony around it. It sees only the good in people, never the bad. It doesn’t take offense even if someone is nasty to it. Instead, it has a good word for anyone and everyone who crosses his path.

But this is the bit you need to know now.”

“Go on, Grandpa,” begged Robby.

Grandpa continued, “This other wolf is a monster. It is under the dangerous delusion that it is the only perfect thing on the planet and constantly finds fault with everything and everyone around it. It has a shallow ego and gets piqued easily. This wolf is always filled with anger and hate. It doesn’t realise that hate and anger get it nowhere.

When you hear me talk of the second wolf, don’t you think it is utterly foolish? Don’t you approve of the first wolf and wish the second one never existed? Do you want to know more?”

Robby replied immediately, “Oh, yes, Grandpa, please tell me more.”

“These two wolves inside me scream for attention. Each one struggles to push the other to take centre stage. When wolf #1 is the winner for the day, everyone loves me and thinks I’m an angel! But hell breaks loose when wolf #2 decides to be the bully. Wolf #1 is pushed away and all that the world sees of me is a cruel, angry, unreasonable, difficult person to deal with.

There is a constant tug of war over my spirit, and sometimes it leaves me rather tired and hopeless!”

The boy looked intently into his grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandpa?" The grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

Robby was speechless. He learnt so much that day. He thanked his friend in his heart for being the reason for this lesson that he would keep for life.

Have anger and hated done any good to us ever? History is full of lessons for us. The world today has enough proof as well. Let us be intelligent, and become less judgmental. Let us urge the goodness in us to manifest. For, that’s who we are - Good.

In a beautiful discourse in the Summer of 1972, Swami said,

“Anger, pride, and other passions reduce man to the level of a lunatic and sometimes degrade him to the level of an animal. One’s anger is one’s greatest enemy and one’s calmness is one’s protection. One’s joy is one’s heaven and one’s sorrow is one’s hell. He who is possessed by anger will be hated by people. Anger leads to many great sins. It is caused by weakness, not of the body but of the mind. To give strength to our mind and remove the weakness from our mind, it is necessary to fill it with good thoughts, good feelings and good ideas.”

Illustrations: Ms. Lyn Kriegler Elliott

- Heart2Heart Team


Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Do you have a similar story to share? Please tell us your reflections about this article by writing to [email protected] mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.


To access all the previous stories of inspiration, please click here.

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Vol 7 Issue 01 - JANUARY 2009
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