Thursday, June 7, 2012

What we feed

Those of us who follow politics closely can get a jaded view of the human race as we witness the power plays, distortions and lies that have come to define how it plays out.

From the left, we tend to see ourselves as fighting for the underdogs. To tell their/our story often means identifying with their pain. We live in it most every day.  In addition, so much of the political world these days is fueled by rage. It has been found to be a wonderful motivator and so we feed it in ourselves and others. That often is accomplished by highlighting the worst of what human beings are doing.

I say all of that to suggest why I was so incredibly moved by this video shared by desertflower over in the comments at The Obama Diary. Get yourself a box of kleenex and watch the whole thing for a powerful antidote.

The lessons here are enormous.

First of all, in Matt we see someone who's willing to get in the race against all odds. Rather than sit on the sidelines and complain, he's doing what he can to participate. Matt represents an awful lot of people who - from the start of the race - have the deck stacked against them. He knows he's not going to "win" the race, but its worth it to him to be a part of it all. We witness the very human qualities of incredible strength and determination as he keeps going - no matter what.

But of course, its nigh near impossible to do that kind of thing alone. We watch as first his mentor comes along to support him when the rest of the field starts to lap him. Then as he approaches the finish line, the other students join in to cheer him on. In doing so, they are demonstrating that capacity in ALL OF US...not to do it for him, but to do everything in our power to help/support him along the way.

So I don't just see Matt and his friends when I watch this. I see you and me...all of us. Just as human beings are capable of unspeakable evil, we are also capable of unfathomable good. Our Native American friends told us long ago that what we get is what we feed.
An old Indian Grandfather said
to his grandson who came to him
with anger at a friend who had
done him an injustice........

Let me tell you a story. I too,
at times, have felt a 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 and
wishing your enemy would die.
I have struggled with these
feelings many times.

He continued......

It is as if there are two
wolves inside me;
One is good and does no harm.
He lives in harmony with all
round 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. He saves
all his energy for the right

But the other wolf, ahhh!

He is full of anger.
The littlest thing will set
him into a fit of temper. He
fights everyone, all the time,
for no reason.

He cannot think because his
anger and hate are so great.
It is helpless anger, for his
anger will change nothing.

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

The boy looked intently into
his Grandfather's eyes and asked...

Which one wins, Grandfather?

The Grandfather smiled and
quietly said.....

The one I feed.


  1. I have been thinking about this since the GOP became so strident in 2009 and even more so now. That's why Koch and the other backers of the GOP put ads on TV. I think the GOP has an instinctive understanding that getting attention -- even when it's for being bad -- works in their favor. It keeps them in people's minds, but I think what else it does is keep the good things happening from getting attention. Not only for President Obama and Democrats, but for innovations in technology, positive action by others and anything else that is positive. The media plays into this because they also get more attention when they are reporting something "bad."

    I believe I create my life -- that I walk my path -- where I'm looking so it's important for me to make choices every day that are for the life I want to lead.

    I see so much good that is happening now. A darkness of thought that has been in the background has come into the light. There are opportunities to find new light-filled solutions. People begin to really think about what is important to them. These are innovative times and I feel so blessed to have a President who lives his life finding these solutions.

    One person can make a difference. Most importantly we can make a difference in our own life, but also in the lives of others. Beautifully said, Smartypants.

  2. Most Americans don't pay as close attention (especially the details) as those who write political blogs. They are mostly uninformed "talking point" voters. One of the reasons perception is more important than reality in politics.

  3. That's not actually a Native American Quote, it comes from a televangelist.

    Native folks are getting rather pi**ed at it.

    1. Interesting...I didn't know that.

      If you're interested - check the link I provided for the story.