An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf will win?"
The old chief simply replied,
"The one you feed."
It was a bad day.
My day started without breakfast. I then found myself at the grocery store around 10am. I had a long list of things to pickup. I hate grocery shopping and had waited till the last possible moment to go to the store. Up and down every aisle. Back and forth when I would accidently skip an item on my list. I even picked up prescriptions. One of the prescriptions had to be ordered, which meant another trip in my future. Everything was pissing me off at this point. Over an hour had passed. My cart was so full that I had my purse on my arm and two extra bags in one hand. A case of water, jugs of juice, soda packs....uugh, you name it I bought it.
My cart had a bum wheel as I rolled into the parking lot. I was getting more pissed by the moment. Finally, I make it to my car and lift open the back to start piling everything in. My car is a disaster. It looks like a 1st grader exploded in my car. Where in the heck was I going to put everything? I start thinking to myself, heavy stuff in first, eggs & bread in last. Drudgery. Pissery. I'm low energy and tired. Damn, why did I buy a case of water. Shit. Shit.
Then I hear it. A soft spoken voice. "Excuse me, Maam but I just ran out of gas and need to borrow a dollar."
I feel my face get red. I whip around and square off with this man. "Don't you fuck'n lie to me." I snarl. "If you need money then ask for it but don't fucking lie to me". I did not stop. I did not even take a breath. "Instead of asking me for money, why don't you do the gentleman thing and offer to help me unload this heavy water into my car?" He was stunned. I was stunned at what I had just said. Then I saw it. He blushed. His eyes looked away. I saw his expression turn to humiliation and embarrassment.
I had been brewing arrogance, superiority and frustration inside myself all morning. I had been LOOKING for the worst in everything and everyone. Instead of giving this man what he needed, I demoralized him and myself. I was trying to make myself feel better by making him feel worse. I decided at that moment I would no longer feed the wolf.
This story ends with me giving the man money and apologizing for my behavior. I decided not to watch the man walk away. I did not want to know if he was going to purchase gas for his car or alcohol for his body. It didn't matter anymore. What mattered was this:
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.