On Compassion and Wolves: Do we feed the wolf of compassion?

WolvesToday, two words are swirling around in my head and heart: compassion and wolves.

After the tragic events in Ottawa on Parliament Hill yesterday, much of the nation is still reeling with a heavy heart. My friend, Jennifer, wrote so poignantly about these events on her blog, Anurakti Life. She writes:

“Show respect and honour for the people who sacrificed their lives to protect our country and compassion for the families they left behind.”

“We will help and care for the hurting, we will be an example to the rest of the world and remind people why Canada Strong and Free.”

Our son, Taryk, has been working on a Passion Project for school. He’s in Grade 4, loves to play lacrosse, hockey, martial arts, and video games – like many boys his age. Not one of these fun activities made the top of his list of passions to share with his class.

Tomorrow, Taryk will make a presentation to his class about his passion for animals, specifically, wolves.

I’ve said before that I believe that when we look to blame and shame “big bad wolves” we are no closer to solving social problems and we move farther away from each other. Yet, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this post this afternoon, Feeding the Wolf of Compassion, that I realized the intimate connections between my son’s project and the call building inclusive, safe, and caring communities for all. I had heard this proverb before, but it was worth reading again today.

He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me … it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.” They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied… “The one you feed.” (A Cherokee proverb (from www.snowowl.com)

Compassion means to suffer with another (from the roots passio (suffering) and com (with).

WolvesFeeding the wolf of compassion allows us “to see the impact of small acts and begin to understand the extraordinary accomplishment of collective healing, as well as to think more deeply about how organizations build unique capabilities that bring out the best of the human condition.” (Compassion at work blog)

Far too many boys and men engage in horrific acts of violence and families the world over are shattered because of it. I hope I feed the wolf of compassion, empathy and kindness more than I feed wolves of fear and anger. I wish the same for my son, and yours.




This entry was posted in Community, Compassion. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *

  • join the Cared Revolution!

    Subscribe to our Care Revolutionaries mailing list

    * indicates required
  • Joanne

    I’m on a personal and professional quest—living a Care Revolution! Join me: Be Bold With Care

  • CARED Conversations