Which Side of Ourselves Will Prevail?
By Rev. Paul J. Bern
Today as I write this, our country has become more divided than ever before. Although I have personally been around for well over six decades now, the last time America was this divided was back in the 1960s due to much disagreement over the Vietnam war. Even in the Cold War days of my childhood, there were a lot more people against the perceived threat (at the time) of Communism than there were in favor of it.
The Battle That Rages Between and Within Us
In our life and times in which we live, America is divided over the most divisive people to ever walk the earth. I’m writing today about the divide over disgraced ex-president Donald J, Trump and his co-conspirators. After doing some research about this, I will liken the current US political divide to an old proverb, author unknown:
“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his grandson. “It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves, one good and one bad”. So goes a version of a traditional Cherokee legend. The first wolf embodies emotions and vices such as hate, greed, arrogance, dishonesty, anger, false pride, superiority and ego. The other wolf represents values and virtues such as peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth and compassion. The grandson considers the metaphoric battle and asks, “Which wolf will win?” The grandfather answers, “The one you feed.”
Choosing Between Two Clear Choices
This struggle is ours. Every day, we have the opportunity to embrace a darker path that confines or restricts, or to act in a more helpful and hopeful way. The same struggle is sometimes evident in entire nations, which can be deeply divided along a number of overlapping fault lines, such as political, socioeconomic, racial, and gender. This story holds a mirror up to ourselves, individually and collectively. And we should take a long look in it. If we’re honest about the struggle and understand it more, we can begin feeding one wolf over the other.
Starve Only One Wolf
The feeling of anger or the impulse of greed is often triggered by other emotions…