April 11, 2009

Two Wolves

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."
~A Cherokee Legend~

I don't know a lot about my Cherokee ancestors. I wish that I could have found out more about my grandmother, and her family, but she died when I was quite young. I lived with her until I was nearly nine years old, and I remember that she was a very serene, gracious, woman. I remember that she taught me to know when it was going to rain, by smelling the air, and observing the leaves of a tree.

I remember that she said that I had feet like an Indian, and walked like an Indian--softly, lightly, with one foot in front of the other. She taught me to walk with my head up, shoulders back, back straight. A few years later, I won an award at school for best posture.

She taught me how to make warts go away, and most of all, she taught me kindness. Even at that young age, she told me that I should not say anything about anyone, if I had nothing nice to say--she said that it was better to keep silent.

She told me that we must judge no one until we had walked in their moccasins. She explained what that meant, because she always talked to me, as we walked, or went about doing whatever it was that we were doing. She listened to my questions, and answered them. I wish that she had lived long enough for me to be wise enough to ask her about her family.

I know that I have not always lived up to everything that she taught me, but to this day, I can still observe the signs she taught me concerning the weather. And I still walk like an Indian.

*Originally posted October 04, 2007


Don and Frances Miller said...

Jan, what an awesome story. I have mentioned before of my own Cherokee heritage. In fact, both mine and my late wife's. We both took great pride in our Cherokee blood. The story of your grandmother is such a close parallel to that of my great uncle who was full-blood cherokee. He used to fascinate me as a yound child with his knowledge of everything imaginable.
Your posts are a bright spot in my day. May you and your spouse have a blessed Easter weekend.

Anonymous said...

Jan- that was a wonderful story. I had to laugh when you said that about the rain and the leaves. I always look at the leaves and when they are inside out like that, I always say it is going to rain. One day my Baby just looked at me and asked how I would know that. I told him to look at the trees. It was funny the way he looked at me. So when I read that I said "See even Jan looks at the leaves." He said "I know I read it." I had to laugh. Thank you, Have a Blessed Easter. Roxi

Linda G. said...

Thats a wonderful legend, Jan, and so true if you just think about the people you know.

I love reading about your Cherokee Grandmother and the lessons she taught you. My Grandmother talked to me about everything she was doing and much of her wisdom has helped me throughout my life.
How fortunate we were that our ears weren't blocked by earphones!
I hope you and yours have a lovely Easter Day:)

Jan said...

DM..I'm so glad that you enjoyed the story. I really like it, too.

I wish I knew more about my own Cherokee heritage.

Thank you for your kind words..I am so glad that my posts brighten your day, even a little bit. :)

Jan said...

Roxie..you always make me laugh!

I appreciate your comments so much!

I hope that you and your sweet family have a very blessed Easter, too.

Jan said...

Linda..thank you, I appreciate your kind words.

Yes, we were both blessed with wonderful grandmothers, full of love and wisdom.

I'm very grateful, and I know you are, as well. :)

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter, too!