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on the subject of forgiveness
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In a tribal village, many years ago, a young Indian boy found the need to seek the wise counsel of his grandfather. He was filled with anger toward another boy he felt had done him a personal injustice.
Patiently, the grandfather listened to his grandson's version of the encounter. After a while, he said: "Let me tell you a story. I too, have felt a great hatred for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for the wrong that they do. But I have learned that hatred eats at you ...inside....and does not hurt your enemy. It hurts only you."
"It is like taking poison and wishing that your enemy would die from it," he went on. "I have struggled with those same feelings many times. It was as if there were two wolves fighting inside of me. One was good and did no harm. He lived in harmony with all around him and did not take offense when no offense was intended. He would fight only when it was right to protect himself and his family."
"But the other wolf..." he said..."Ah! He was filled with much anger and the smallest thing would set him off into a fit of rage. He fought with everyone, much of the time, for little or no reason. He could not think because the anger and hatred gnawed at him from morning till night."
The grandfather stoked the campfire thoughtfully before going on: "I must tell you that it was difficult to live with these two wolves battling inside of me, for both of them tried their best to dominate my spirit." The old man pulled the young boy closer to him before proclaiming: "But after many years and much soul searching, only one of those wolves ultimately survived."
With overwhelming curiosity, the boy looked up into the leather worn face of the old man. "But, grandfather," he asked, anxiously, "which one was it? Which one of them lived?"
The grandfather sighed and looked out into a night laced with glorious stars and answered:
"The one that I fed," he said. "The one that I fed..."