I was sitting on my couch, preparing for a meeting that I was going to, when a song came on over the speaker. The song immediately grabbed my attention, because the words I heard were not sung, but were spoken. “We all have two voices in our head: Fear and Love. The one you listen to will shape you. The one you ignore will fade away.” This is the beginning of the song, The Louder Voice, by Fit for a King. After the singer spoke these words, I couldn’t help but start thinking of the truth that is found in this statement.
These lyrics closely resemble a Cherokee Indian Tradition that goes like this:
An old grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with raging anger at a friend, “I too have felt great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison into your own body and wishing your enemy would suffer and die. It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is kind and understanding and does no harm; it works to benefit the entire pack. He lives in harmony with all and does not take offense or plot revenge. His heart is open and available to the Great Spirit. The other wolf is always vengeful, vicious and full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone and for no reason. He kills without cause or remorse. He cannot think because his resentment, anger and hate are so great. His heart is closed to the Great Spirit. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me. Both of them try to dominate my Spirit.” The boy looked with amazement into this wise man’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?” The grandfather smiled and said, “The one that wins—is the one I feed.”
Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. Fear produces greed, hate, rage, anger, etc. Fear is controlling, manipulative, and blinds those who succumb to it’s lies. Fear has the power of dividing the closest of friends, the most intimate of lovers, and it can even keep us from doing what is right. Fear has the power to convince us that what we are doing is the right thing, when in reality, it is destroying relationships, keeping us from growing, and hindering us from progress.
Love is the direct opposite of fear. It is written, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love” (1John 4:18). Love unites. Love is what focuses on living a selfless life of service. Love is what accepts others for who they are; now don’t misunderstand me, I did not say tolerates others, I said accepts others. There is a difference. Love is an action not just a feeling or emotion. Without love, we are nothing.
Whether it’s a beginning line of a song or a Cherokee Indian Tradition, the story and truth is the same. We all have two voices, two wolves inside of us. Whichever we listen to, or whichever we feed, will dominate us. It is important that we understand what this means. It is important that we attune ourselves to our thoughts, actions, and responses. Both voices will scream at you. Both wolves will claw their way to your heart and mind. Fight hard and choose wisely which voice you listen to, or which wolf you feed. In the end, whichever one you give the most attention to will consume you, while the other will simply fade away.
- We all have two voices, two wolves clawing for our attention. Whichever one we give attention to more will ultimately affect who we become.
- Take pause and reflect on what voice or wolf you are giving attention to. Fight hard to give attention to that which is right.
- Do not succumb to the easy way out. It is easier to hate and be angry. However, the more we choose this path, the worse we become.
- Life is a battlefield, and we must constantly be preparing for war. We are not at war with each other, but with the voices and desires within us. Take heed of this and prepare accordingly.
As always, stay humble and serve well.