Several days ago, I wrote a post entitled “Hate, Hate, Hate”. I explained how I looked at a specific incident, the shooting in a gay nightclub in Florida. I tried to show how there are arguments on both sides regarding gun possession and also the LGBT conversation but that in order to really have any chance to sorting things out, we needed to stay away from incendiary language. Apparently, this issue must have struck a chord because I received dozens and dozens of follow-up posts from other PTSD sufferers and their caregivers, who appreciated a more thoughtful approach to lots of our current arguments. But I also received a post from someone who obviously was not an Obama fan. It was a cartoon of Obama planting a kiss on the rear end of a character that looked like a sheik. As I warned with the title of my “hate” post, it had nothing to do with a rational argument but the lobbing of an anti-Obama bomb where there was, obviously, no positive results, that the Obama regime had been able to accomplish because of the rhetoric surrounding his 8 years in office. The anger poured out even hotter than ever, after my response. I tried to explain the opposite point of view to his post. In fact, it got worse as he answered my post. Nothing I could say would ease the situation and trust me I tried to stay away from accusations and name calling. Example #1
At around the same time I also saw a video of a middle age guy who was wearing a MAGA hat daring anyone to try and knock the hat off his head. Of course, this followed by a horde of responders who, obviously, were anti-Trump. All I could think was when I was a teenager and I remembered that I, too, was looking for a fight at every turn, as a response to anyone who didn’t go along with what I had to say. But I also remember how I had grown out of this stage when I grew up. I was shocked at how far the Tribal sides had gathered and willing to go to “War” over a hat. I can easily see this simple challenge resulting in some dire consequences. Example #2
At the same time my wife was watching a podcast about a knitting project where the person giving the podcast spoke of this Cherokee quote. My wife wasn’t familiar with this and so I looked it up and showed it to her. She loved it and if you like it too, and haven’t seen it, it will make sense to you regarding the times we are living through.
“An old Cherokee is 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, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The 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 Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
It’s the one you feed. Where as the kind and gentler America where we offer a shoulder to lean on or a kind word to share? I remember once going to a therapy when we were first married. There was a philosophy that encouraged the anger we were all hiding inside. The therapist was suggesting that we take a tennis racket and yell and scream at a pillow that we’d temporarily renamed for our enemy. The psychologist theorized that getting the anger out would do us a World of good.
I’m not sure whether this worked for me or not since I felt some relief at venting, yet I also felt enormously angry more so then I was comfortable with. It seemed I was feeding my angry wolf