Two Wolves Cherokee Legend

Two Arctic Wolves

Here is a Cherokee legend that I re-read recently about two wolves. This is sage advice. So, I wanted to share it with you. 

Once upon a time, a wise Cherokee elder was teaching his young grandson about life. 

“There is a war going on inside of me,” the elder said to his grandson. “It is a war between two wolves.

One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, and regret. He is also greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

But the other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” 

Then the elder placed a hand on his grandson’s shoulder and he said, “This same war is raging within you and within the heart of every man, woman, and child.”

The young man was thoughtful for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

Two Wolves in Snow

The grandfather’s reply was simple. He said, “The one you feed.”

He continued, “I have learned that the point of my life’s walk is not where or how far I move my feet, but how I move them.

If I am moved in my heart and I walk far but I am angry toward others as I journey, I walk nowhere.

And if I conquer mountains but hold grudges against others as I climb, I conquer nothing.

If I see much but regard others as enemies, I see no one.

Whether we walk among our people or alone among the hills, happiness and life’s walking depends on how we feel about others in our hearts. 

We travel only as far and as high as our hearts will take us. If I am to move forward, I need to leave all that is backward behind me.

Whatever you carry that invites backward walking, leave it behind. The wolf who wins is the one you feed.1

Two Wolves Walking
Photo: Charlie Marshall.

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Kristen M. Stanton

Hello. Thanks for visiting UniGuide. My name is Kristen and I started UniGuide as a tribute to nature, animals, and spiritual exploration. I hope you enjoy your experience here!