Pete Rich, my child’s unit coordinator at Wright School, realized I was a person who loved and needed stories, and at particularly low points in our time there would tell me a new one. Here is the most healing story he told me, one that guides my day-to-day interactions with my students, my children, and others I come into contact with:
An old Navajo grandfather was walking with his grandson. He looked down at the boy and said, “Son, inside you and every human there are two wolves. One is a good wolf and one is an evil wolf, and they are fighting to the death.” They continued walking in silence until the boy cried, “But Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The grandfather replied simply, “the wolf you feed.”
Think about it. When a colleague is rude, perhaps we could feed the good wolf in her that is simply tired and ready to go home. When a child erupts in anger, we need to remember that there is a good wolf who wants to succeed badly. It’s very easy to feed the maliciousness and meanness in the world; it’s a bit harder to look behind that and see the insecurity and pain that drives much of the negativity. Let’s try assuming there is a good wolf within each of us that needs and deserves to be fed.
This will be a guiding story at Just Right Academy. And here’s hoping that all of us are surrounded by people who will feed the good wolf in us.