An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My Son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth."
The boy thought about it, and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"
The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."
The author of the above exchange is unknown. The words (or some variation thereof) have been passed down for generations and found immortality thanks to the Internet. They are words of wisdom, allegorical, and succinctly sum the frailty of the human spirit and the weakness of the flesh.
I enjoy wise words. I have very few of them myself, because to pen or utter a remark that will withstand the strains of time is not an easy proposition. Furthermore, I don't think you can set out to try to create immortality in prose. It's a kinda spontaneous thing, I'd reckon.
Words of wisdom like I've listed above and below are some of my favorite quotes. These are a handful of hundreds of thoughts I've collected over time. It's kind of a hobby of mine. They serve as a source of inspiration and as a source of consolation in trying times.
I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. Abraham Lincoln
This is a philosophy I've adopted in recent times. We could accomplish so much more as a society if others would do the same.
Well done is better than well said. Ben Franklin
In other words, talk is cheap. Walk the walk if you're going to talk the talk. This applies to every facet of your life. Don't be hypocritical. None of us are perfect; so don't try to act like it.
You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him mad. Adlai Stevenson
Truer words have never been spoken. This is a quote that I have to read daily to remind myself what's important, what's worth fighting for and what's worth only a shoulder shrug and moving on to the next obstacle.
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. Albert Camus
Brother, I've been there.
Have more than you show, speak less than you know. William Shakespeare
If half of us would live by this simple principle there would be a lot less hot air in the world and a lot less folks with empty pockets. Plato presented it in a different form: Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults. Lincoln
Another pearl of wisdom from our 16th president. Sadly, too many times the adults who are teaching aren't doing a very good job. And I'm not talking about standardized test scores.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson
No one is at fault for the way you are or your troubles. Circumstances vary. How you deal with them is your choosing.
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Dr. Seuss
This goes back to something I stress regularly. Take advantage of every moment you have with those you love. Take advantage of every second of happiness, because Death continually whispers, "I am coming."
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." Mary Anne Radmacher
We're often our harshest critics. I can attest. Never give up hope.
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Every person, all your friends and any enemy you may have, is a unique individual with their own worries, hopes, dreams and goals. They have their own insecurities. They have their own moments of pride, fear and joy. No matter what you may think of them, they are really not that much different than you. Except for Alabama football fans. Those guys stink. Just kidding. Maybe.
When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "One word at a time." Stephen King
As a person who makes his living on the written word, I can promise you that there's not a one of us that hasn't felt overwhelmed by wondering what to put on the page. But the point King makes extends beyond us "word slingers." One foot in front of the other in every difficulty in life. That's the only way to get through.
The things you own, end up owning you. Tyler Durden
This is fairly simple. Don't live beyond your means, because such a setup is a house of cards. And it will come tumbling down.
And perhaps my personal favorite: Don't judge someone just because they sin differently than you.
I'm not sure who wrote that. But I'm fairly certain a fellow from Nazareth said some similar things about 2,000 years ago. It's hard for me to remember this point, and I'm sure it's hard for the rest of you as well. But life shouldn't be about venom, scorn and ridicule. Call me an idealist, but I still believe that people are invariably good. To quote Hemingway, the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. And while I may not completely agree with the first part, I embrace the second with every inch of my being.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.