a little east of reality

Monday, July 06, 2009

the bitch is...well, a little over-rated actually

I'd forgotten this story. I like this version because it's not all 'Christianed up' like the version you mostly see floating on the interwebs.

An old 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 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, ah! 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."

Obvious really, but it doesn't stop people from feeding their anger and negativity until it consumes their better self.

I think I do this sometimes and it's just wasted energy. Recently I started working with a guy that is always calm. At first I found this kind of annoying, actually, because I mistook it for a lack of passion about things that matter. But as I've gotten to know him over the last few months I've realised that he doesn't lack feeling; it's more that if anger isn't going to change anything, he will only give limited energy to it. He is, however, quite insightful when it comes to solutions, and I think this is a result of him being calm enough to really apply his rationality to a problem.

This is a workplace. Things go wrong and management occasionally suck and there are any number of people ready to bitch about it. It's actually kind of nice to work with someone who doesn't always need to vent, even if this does throw my own impatience or irritation into sharper relief (embarrassing!) in the process. Maybe I'll become more zen as a result.

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