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The Wolf You Feed


MrsGently

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There is a Cherokee Legend about Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me.” He said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

 

I love this, as a legend it doesn't  get much better than this, right? Short, easy to remember, everything important is in it and it is one of those rare things I consider Truth™. The difficulty we face first is that it requires a perpetual process of observing and honestly evaluating our thoughts. Let's examine this on a hypothetical:

I am walking through the park and see someone walking past me, who is better dressed, prettier, fitter, nicer hair, some of those things, or all of them... What is the first thing I do if I am per se not attracted and maybe am struggling with certain problems, like health or feeling down due to a disappointment... some small or big thing that creates the 'glasses' through which I see this person. It is a decision we have to make when we notice we react with envy or inventing falsehoods internally to make us feel superior, we are feeding the wolf most people I believe would not want to feed, it just happens sometimes.

It is sort of a self-training that goes into learning how to appreciate and 'allow' others to be also kind of cute so to speak, instead of what we are more or less 'trained' to do in our society: to get competitive. Create theoretical hierarchies and rankings or whathaveyou that have simply no basis in reality.

Joy and beauty are born in generosity. Sorrow and anger are born in envy. Alas we invent and spread these mind-sets ourself. All is perspective and perception. And being kind to ourself allows us to be kind to others.

 

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41 minutes ago, Piney said:

This is not a Cherokee legend. It's fakelore based on a passage from Romans and barfed out by American Christian ministers.

Really? Okay, thanks for the clarification. Doesn't matter to me personally though, I like it.

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1 hour ago, Piney said:

This is not a Cherokee legend. It's fakelore based on a passage from Romans and barfed out by American Christian ministers.

Anyone can say anything and then put the 'Indian' spin on it.

Wolves did teach good lesson...more like...The Wolf shows us how to hunt, how to kill, and how to die. 

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2 minutes ago, joc said:

No it doesn't.  Being kind to others is what we do when we have empathy for others.  Being unkind to others is what we do when we have no empathy for them.  It has nothing to do with how you treat yourself...it has everything to do with your personality and character.  

I think the opposite is true. The more a person loves themselves the less they care about others. 

I agree with your statement though. Just going off the whole self-love bs.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I think the opposite is true. The more a person loves themselves the less they care about others. 

I agree with your statement though. Just going off the whole self-love bs.

I just read a paper which says people who received little  or no affection during childhood are more empathic. @Sherapy might have a link. 

Edited by Piney
brain fart
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20 minutes ago, Piney said:

I just read a paper which says people who received little  or no affection during childhood are more empathic. @Sherapy might have a link. 

Interesting, I was pretty well cared for as a kid but I can't remember anyone ever showing me affection. I do care about others but it's hard for me to feel empathy for people. I feel bad about this but it's just not there.

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26 minutes ago, openozy said:

Interesting, I was pretty well cared for as a kid but I can't remember anyone ever showing me affection. I do care about others but it's hard for me to feel empathy for people. I feel bad about this but it's just not there.

Here you go.

https://positivepsychology.com/mirror-neurons/

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28 minutes ago, openozy said:

Interesting, I was pretty well cared for as a kid but I can't remember anyone ever showing me affection. I do care about others but it's hard for me to feel empathy for people. I feel bad about this but it's just not there.

I only feel empathy for people who's problems were not their own fault. I have none for people who **** where they eat. 

My enabling sister thinks she can help people who do to the point where she literally tries to bribe our hoodrat relatives to stop acting like it.  

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6 minutes ago, Piney said:

I only feel empathy for people who's problems were not their own fault. I have none for people who **** where they eat. 

My enabling sister thinks she can help people who do to the point where she literally tries to bribe our hoodrat relatives to stop acting like it.  

Too many people have imaginary problem and 90% they create. So I agree. I'm not a bleeding heart either. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

I think the opposite is true. The more a person loves themselves the less they care about others. 

I agree with your statement though. Just going off the whole self-love bs.

That self love thing is pushed too far, new age manipulative teachings, there has to be balance.  You can take care of others until you fall apart and someone has to take care of you or you can balance caring for yourself and be more able to care for others, extremes at anthing always causes imbalance and disharmony.    The trick for everyone of us is finding that balance (which will be different for each of us) because we are surrounded by imbalance constantly.  How far do you go when you learn that you are allowed to say "No"?   Sometimes you say it too much and realize you missed something or someone important, but you can't put others first all the time like most of us were taught in the 60's.  It fosters resentment, anger and low self esteem.

Edited by Desertrat56
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3 hours ago, Piney said:

This is not a Cherokee legend. It's fakelore based on a passage from Romans and barfed out by American Christian ministers.

Would that be Roman's 12:21 by chance?

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28 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

That self love thing is pushed too far, new age manipulative teachings, there has to be balance.  

I have a grudge against the positive thinking and self esteem movements. 

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1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

I have a grudge against the positive thinking and self esteem movements. 

More ****ing scams. 

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1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

Would that be Roman's 12:21 by chance?

7: 18-19

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3 hours ago, Piney said:

I just read a paper which says people who received little  or no affection during childhood are more empathic. @Sherapy might have a link. 

I would be interested to read that.  Some people received a lot of affection during childhood, and still have little or no empathy, so I think also the affection a child has or doesn't have by other children has a lot to do with it as well.  No body liked me growing up...I was always the last person to be picked for any sport or group activity.  I was bullied a lot as well.  At my 25th high school reunion there was a girl there I hadn't seen probably since eighth grade...but she was part of our class from the beginning.  She was epileptic and very far down on the spectrum.  Constantly being laughed at and made fun of.  No one even acknowledged that she was at the reunion...until I walked over and asked her to dance.  She wrote me letters for like 5 years after that.

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10 minutes ago, joc said:

I would be interested to read that.  Some people received a lot of affection during childhood, and still have little or no empathy, so I think also the affection a child has or doesn't have by other children has a lot to do with it as well.  No body liked me growing up...I was always the last person to be picked for any sport or group activity.  I was bullied a lot as well.  At my 25th high school reunion there was a girl there I hadn't seen probably since eighth grade...but she was part of our class from the beginning.  She was epileptic and very far down on the spectrum.  Constantly being laughed at and made fun of.  No one even acknowledged that she was at the reunion...until I walked over and asked her to dance.  She wrote me letters for like 5 years after that.


@Piney

I found this: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203886&fbclid=IwAR0blXm9_Pi65fVStGsPpepiWfoULlbYHaUnNfDma5Jp0r838-QPXxDJerg  

 

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17 minutes ago, joc said:

I would be interested to read that.  Some people received a lot of affection during childhood, and still have little or no empathy, so I think also the affection a child has or doesn't have by other children has a lot to do with it as well.  No body liked me growing up...I was always the last person to be picked for any sport or group activity.  I was bullied a lot as well.  At my 25th high school reunion there was a girl there I hadn't seen probably since eighth grade...but she was part of our class from the beginning.  She was epileptic and very far down on the spectrum.  Constantly being laughed at and made fun of.  No one even acknowledged that she was at the reunion...until I walked over and asked her to dance.  She wrote me letters for like 5 years after that.

When I lived with my biological mother I was dressed in rags with kitchen haircuts and constantly teased for my "retardation". 

I showed up at my reunion with my 64 Jag E-Type wearing a Brookes Brothers black silk shirt and Diesel jeans, found out one of my bullies was in foreclosure and bought her ****ing house so I could personally kick her out. 

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2 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

Hands down this is true, here’s to hoping the paths they are on serve to nurture better qualities. 

In nature, birds of a feather actually do flock together.  And in nature, Humans of similar thought processes also tend to associate with each other.

It's human nature.  One can change their clothes, change their hair color, change their habits to some degree, but what we cannot change is who we are...our hardwired character.  However; the thoughts and biases of others can be changed by our own words and actions to some extent.  You lead by example.  And we adore you for it!  

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The interesting side effect of nihilism (after the overwhelming existential crisis) is the unfathomable freedom it gives. You lose a lot of mental baggage. Worry is reduced and you can live life the best you can to whatever ability. You kinda just embrace the absurdity of life itself. Nothing matters, why worry so much. Take it all in stride. 

It's different from having to maintain some belief in whatever abstract ideology a person holds too. I like it. I can believe in anything or nothing. I believe in cookies, because cookies are good. 

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Thread cleaned

@MrsGently - enough with the hostilities please.

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Posted (edited)

:tu:

Edited by joc
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11 hours ago, Piney said:

This is not a Cherokee legend. It's fakelore based on a passage from Romans and barfed out by American Christian ministers.

It was always quaint, how the settlers turned Indians into noble savages, after driving them off the land.

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That saying, genuine or not, sounds related to a famously quoted saying by Benjamin Franklin

 

Something about democracy being like two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for dinner.

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