Michael J. Riley | Potentate 2023
I am delighted to share a timeless and profoundly thought-provoking story with you, one with the remarkable potential to redefine how we confront life's challenges and make our choices. This is the tale of "The Two Wolves Within."
According to the ancient legend, an elder Cherokee storyteller imparted this timeless wisdom to his inquisitive grandson: "Deep within each of us resides an ongoing battle between two wolves. The first embodies the negative qualities of anger, envy, greed, and arrogance. The other embodies the positive traits of joy, love, humility, and empathy. These two wolves engage in an eternal struggle for our attention, and the outcome of this internal battle wields a profound influence over the course of our lives."
In response, the naturally curious grandson posed a simple yet profound question to his grandfather, "Which wolf prevails?"
The Cherokee storyteller's reply was equally plain-spoken yet wise: "The one you feed." This ancient parable imparts a timeless lesson that wields the power to shape our thoughts, actions, and, ultimately, our destinies.
Choosing the Wolf We Feed
“May all of our conversations encourage one another.” In the tapestry of our daily lives, we often encounter situations that challenge us, presenting us with the pivotal choice of which "wolf" to nurture. Will we succumb to anger, resentment, or negativity when life takes a challenging turn? Alternatively, will we cultivate kindness, compassion, and empathy when adversity arises? It also extends to more subtle choices, such as the people we associate with, how we conduct our lives, and the impact we strive to make.
For many of us at the Nile, the principles of having fun and helping children form the backbone of our creed. As dedicated members, we have had the privilege of supporting the well-being of Washington's patients providing regular lodging, food and transportation to and from our hospitals. Additionally, we have extended our benevolence to numerous international patients this past year by facilitating their emergency travel requirements.
The underlying message of this parable underscores our profound capacity to mold our characters and influence our well-being through our choices. The wolf we choose to nourish thrives while the other weakens. Furthermore, our options can potentially effect positive change in those around us.
Empowering Ourselves through Choice Assimilating the wisdom of "The Two Wolves Within" imparts us the profound empowerment to seize control of our thoughts and actions. Rather than capitulating to negativity, we can consciously opt for positivity. We can respond to life's challenges with grace, compassion, and resilience, nurturing the superior wolf within us.
Inspiring Others through Example
Our choices extend beyond their influence on our lives; they inspire those around us. When we elect to feed the wolf of positivity, we shine as beacons of hope and encouragement for others. Our actions serve as catalysts, motivating those within our circles to make more positive choices, thereby engendering a ripple effect of goodwill.
At the juncture of this article, my second term as Potentate is drawing to a close. It has been a remarkable journey as we successfully wrap-up the Haunted House and, under the able leadership of Robyn in our front office, organized two immensely successful bazaars. I hold in deep regard the camaraderie of those I've had the privilege of working alongside, and I am genuinely gratified by the strides we've made in the financial resurgence of the Nile, as well as our collective commitment to enhancing the lives of our members and the children we passionately support.
This enduring parable propels us to recognize that personal growth is an ongoing odyssey. We can consistently strive to nurture the wolf that embodies our most sterling attributes. By doing so, we evolve into enhanced versions of ourselves and make affirmative contributions to the world.
I warmly encourage you to reflect on "The Two Wolves Within" and the choices that shape your life. Remember that, in each moment, you retain the power to nourish the wolf of positivity, compassion, and kindness. In so doing, we enrich our lives and collectively create a world marked by harmony and understanding.
Opt for your choices wisely, and may you perpetually nourish the wolf that leads you toward your most exemplary self. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your steadfast encouragement throughout my journey here at the Nile.
At the recent Conference of Grand Masters in Louisville, Kentucky, Imperial Potentate Jeff Sowder, along with Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commanders David A. Glattly, 33° (Northern Masonic Jurisdiction), and James D. Cole, 33° (Southern Jurisdiction), announced a formal partnership on the Path Forward for Freemasonry.
As part of that initiative, the three leaders announced BeaFreemason.org, which features a wealth of information including an explanation of Masonic terms, lodge life, symbolism, degrees and family organizations. Launched in mid-February, this first-of-its-kind site introduces Freemasonry to men who are looking to "become the best version" of themselves. The site has a "Get in Touch" button, so prospects (in North America) can fill out a short form that will put them in touch with a Masonic leader in their local area. We hope you share this helpful site with men that you know who are committed to lives of honor, integrity and character.
For more information, go to: beafreemason.org