The Wolves In Your Heart - An Indigenous Tale With An Important Message
A few years ago, I stumbled upon a video on Happify.com that I shared with our students and staff at assemblies. In the story, an elder explains to a child that we all have two wolves living in our hearts. One wolf (the red one) is full of resentment, anger, jealousy, and self-centeredness. The other wolf (the blue guy) is the opposite. He’s full of benevolence, love, compassion, service, and grace. The two wolves are continually trying to gain power over the other in our hearts. In the video, the child asks, “Which wolf will win?” And the elder simply replies, “Whichever one you feed.”
As educators, we are continually teaching our students how to handle the “red wolf”. This wolf always exists in each of us (adults and children alike) and is longing to be fed. It’s the voice inside us that tells us that we need to look out for ourselves. It tells us that we are the only person that matters. The red wolf says that no one else is as good or as important as we are. But luckily, we each also have that blue wolf living inside of us too. That wolf is the one who tells us to remain positive, to look for the good in each day and each other. That wolf puts others before themselves and approaches life with a servant’s heart. That wolf knows how to accept and love other people. And that wolf, thankfully, is longing to be fed as well.
We teach our students to acknowledge the red wolf, to pay attention to red wolf feelings, and think about why we feel that way. We calmly pay attention to the angry wolf but keep the blue wolf as our peaceful guide.
So, what can we do to ensure we are only feeding the blue wolf? Here are five “blue wolf feeding tips” that we teach our students (but are also good reminders for us as adults).
Surround yourself with blue wolf people. There will always be people who let their red wolf dominate their lives; respectfully distance yourself from them. It is often said that we become like the five people we spend the most time with. Think about five people you most admire and spend your time with them.
Count your blessings. A global pandemic has made this very difficult lately. We are engulfed in uncertainty and surrounded by troubling news. Many people in the world are unable to see the people they love most. This is stressful and unsettling. But, the blue wolf inside us helps to remind us that there are still blessings every day. We just have to acknowledge them and focus on them.
Take ownership and learn from your mistakes- I often say to students who end up in the office that “it’s what happens next that matters most.” Sometimes the red wolf will win...but it is genuinely what we choose to do next that matters. Will we learn and grow? Or will we continue to feed the red wolf and make the same mistakes repeatedly? It shows great strength to be vulnerable enough to say that you made a mistake and you will do better. That strength is the blue wolf, helping you become a better version of yourself.
Do something every day to make someone’s life a little better, and, if you really want to feed the blue wolf: do it anonymously. The red wolf wants everyone to know that you did something nice-the blue wolf doesn’t.
Work on trying to improve yourself and grow every day. Rumi said it best: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Keep feeding your blue wolves, everyone! Feel free to watch the wolf video here.
心中的狼 - 一個表達重要訊息的故事
惜福 - 最近一場全球流行的病毒爆發導致人們被不確定性及令人不安的消息圍繞，世界上許多人無法跟所愛的人團聚。但「藍狼」提醒著我們每天仍需珍惜幸福、感受它、關注它。
勇於承擔責任，懂得從錯誤中汲取教訓 - 我經常對需要到辦公室報到的學生表示：「重要的是接下來會發生的後果。」有時候，無可否認「紅狼」會佔據上風，但真正重要的是我們選擇的下一步。會從中學習成長？或是重覆同樣的錯誤以壯大心中的「紅狼」？如果您能示弱的向別人承認錯誤，您便會變得更好。而這就是「藍狼」的力量，幫助自己成為更好的人。