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The Battle of Two Wolves inside us All


This is a gesture of appreciation from the heart and head to James Miller, local editor and Master of Ceremonies at a recent political debate I attended. His use of words, especially his no-tolerance attitude towards bullies and booing was rare, refreshing and needed.

Miller brings to mind the story of a Cherokee grandfather that I knew telling his son about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "my son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is NEGATIVE with qualities of anger, envy, jealousy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, lies, false pride, and superiority.


The other is POSITIVE with feelings of peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion, and faith." The grandson thought about it and then asked his grandfather "Which wolf wins"? The wise Cherokee replied: "The one you feed."

And feed we must if we are to have the wisdom and the energy to achieve our highest life goals. Whether we are on a quest for peace at home or abroad, or whether we are trying to find solutions to bullies in our society, our words do matter. As Dr. Gwen Randall-Young once wrote: "Words are not just words. They are the way in which we connect to others and make meaning in our lives."


Or, as Siddhartha Gautama-Buddha reminded us: "Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or for ill."

We are also reminded that Rudyard Kipling, years back, said: "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." Many years earlier, King Solomon is recorded as having said: “Life and death are in the power of the tongue."

More recently, Eleanor Roosevelt shared a related wisdom: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

So let us choose our words carefully and wisely. Negative words create a ‘me’ versus ‘you’ mentality. Positive words create the qualities that we urgently need on our Planet: cooperation, community, reconciliation, and forgiveness. These are the ingredients that ultimately make peace possible.


But much more is needed to nurture good words and values. An important source of wisdom comes from the Bella Bella Natives on the west coast of British Columbia where I once taught. This was an exquisitely beautiful community on the mainland, with an abundance of sensations: the scent of fish being smoked, the sounds of music flowing from open windows and children playing, the sight of eagles soaring above the trees. Their customs were elegant, and culture was teeming with magic. The warmth and hospitality of its people was indeed a place to celebrate living and loving.

Here in Bella Bella, my special teacher and friend, Don Wilson, reminded me to find love in my own consciousness and the time to appreciate the beauty of life around me. He encouraged me to use my subconscious mind — which he described as the all-knowing Universal Mind with the God Within — as my best friend in the search for happiness, health, prosperity and peace. He said it was like having your own Aladdin’s Lamp — and you are the Genie!

So, my friends, readers of this book, go inside and search deeply for those inner truths of love joy, and peace. Let the good wolf within us win. You have the capacity to create a better world. You are the Genie!


By: Jon-Lee Kootnekoff, Penticton, BC

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