As part of the process of creating this blog, we have reviewed past issues of One World, the newsletter that Cultural Crossroads published between 2004 and 2014. We have chosen select articles on timeless topics from those past issues to be republished as part of this blog.
One article, however, in particular stands out as both timely and, unfortunately, seemingly-timeless: The Wolf You Feed from Volume 9, No. 3 (Late Summer/Early Fall), originally published in 2012. That article is republished – and, to our sorrow – updated for this blog publication.
The Wolf You Feed…
The headlines scream out for attention:
Six killed in shooting at Sikh Temple (we said in 2011; now, in March of 2017, the FBI is investigating the recent shooting of a Sikh man in Seattle and a shooting in Olathe, Kansas, which resulted in a murder and two injuries)
Arson fire destroys mosque in Joplin (we said in 2011; now, in March of 2017, there have been 3 confirmed arsons at mosques in Florida and Seattle in the past few weeks and several other fires at mosques are under investigation, while Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated and Jewish centers receive bomb threats)
Dozens shot in Aurora theater (we said in 2011; now, we can hardly count the number of shootings in the United States, on an almost daily basis)
Syrian conflict claims thousands of victims (we said in 2011; today, in March of 2017, the Syrian refugee crisis is well-known, well-documented…and continues to be ignored — or worse).
What is happening? What is the world coming to? How can we stop it? …change it? Can we even try? Like many others, you probably find yourself asking these questions when you watch the evening news or as you read the morning paper or discuss current events with co-workers. It’s a feeling of helplessness…the thought that there is nothing that we individuals can do to stop the hatred…but there is. The 2011 issue of One World listed several ways you can take “small steps” to change the world…it is still possible, in 2017, to take those steps.
Small steps to change the world
The vision of Cultural Crossroads is a society which honors the heritage of our diverse cultures amid a climate of mutual respect and a shared future. Every time we look at someone as a person of value, regardless of their outward appearance, we are projecting peace into the world. Every time we choose to learn about another culture, another religion – yes, even another political viewpoint – without predisposition and with an open mind, we are manifesting a society of mutual respect.
Why do we like the Olympics? Of course, part of it is the excitement of the pageantry and the records being set and broken and cheering our “own” team. There is more to it, though, that is not explained by an interest in sports. An estimated 4 billion people across the world watched the opening ceremony (of the 2010 Olympics), with a global television audience of 900 million. They are not all sports fans. There is the feeling of being part of a worldwide movement – the undying belief that people can come together in a common cause and with a common mind, the idea that people can accomplish something greater together than they could as individuals.
The wolf you feed
This familiar Cherokee story holds a lesson for us all: The grandfather tells the boy that there are two wolves inside each person and that each wolf is trying to be dominant – one wolf is full of pride, ego and hatred, while the other wolf exhibits peace, serenity, and compassion. The grandson asks, “Which wolf will win, Grandfather?” and the wise old man replies, “The wolf you feed, my son, the wolf you feed.”
…Which wolf do you feed?