Thank God for Willie Nelson

August 1, 2007

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been enjoying a page or two at a time of a book called The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart.

I’ve enjoyed Willie Nelson’s music though the years, but haven’t been so in love with him that I actually purchased a CD or gone to a concert, but with this little tome, I am smitten with him.

In it, he relays a Native American story about two wolves that goes something like this:

A boy who is feeling angry and upset at an injustice goes to his old Grandfather for advice. The Grandfather tells the boy that he, too has felt these feelings of hate and anger. The Grandfather shares that he has also realized how these feelings have no effect on his enemy, but they do cause him great pain.

“It is as if I have two wolves living inside me,” says the Grandfather. “One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.”

“But the other wolf,” Grandfather continues, “fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. The smallest thing will send him into a fury. He cannot think because his anger and rage are so great; however for all its fury, his anger changes nothing.

“Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looks into his Grandfather’s eyes and asks, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

His grandfather replies, “Whichever one I feed.”


In searching for the story, I found it here, and would like to give credit and thanks to Kevin Burke for posting it. The reminders he gives, along with the story and Willie’s words are helping me tremendously. The trick is learning how to keep the focus, even when the buttons get pushed.

Pushin’ all my buttons. It seems so easy, too easy to do.



  1. This is a parallel idea to watering the good seeds in you, letting the bad ones wither and die. I like it.

  2. Yes, so true. How does the phrase go? Darkness cannot survive in light. I hope as I continue growing that I am ever more light and less darkness.

  3. That picture is so cute!

  4. Orhan,

    So good to “see” you! Thanks for your comment. I love that picture. The phrase that always pops into my head when I see it is, “Tastes like chicken!” But people have such a misconception of wolves anyway that I didn’t want to add to the drama. Cheers!

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