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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio


Tuesday, December 21, 2010
'Twas the night before Christmas'
Monday, January 10, 2011
We hold the mould
Where do our choices lead us?



“We need a new bottom line that defines productivity and creativity where corporations, governments, schools, public institutions and social practices are judged as efficient, rational and productive not only to the extent they maximize money and power, but to the extent they maximize love and caring, ethical sensitivity.” — Michael Lerner

Daily, we march with attention to what is right in front of us! But what about the big-picture landscape of where our choices lead us over days, weeks, months and years? Let’s explore that question and the insight to be discovered from the Native American tale, "The Two Wolves."

One evening, a Cherokee elder sat with his grandson at the fire to tell him about the battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is the Evil Wolf. He speaks inside of us with anger, jealousy, greed, arrogance, selfishness, guilt, resentment, inferiority and ego."

“And what is the other wolf, grandfather?”

“The other is the Good Wolf. He speaks to us with love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness and caring, respect for self and others, generosity, truth and trust.”

“But grandfather,” the grandson asked, “Which wolf wins?”

The wise Cherokee elder looked into his grandson’s eyes and replied, “The one you feed.”

This wisdom tale reveals the priceless message of how thought defines behavior. Our daily professional encounters with management meetings, conference calls, sales presentations, planning, and interactions with colleagues and staff are exercises for the mental activity of our two wolves. They compete for our attention. There are days when we ask whether we have any choice of which wolf shall speak or whether we have a choice of which wolf we will listen to. But, over time we have the opportunity to discover a powerful life axiom as these two wolves growl for our attention: We become what we think about all day long!

Mission Integrity Action

I pursue my professional week and my relationships with family and friends remembering that what’s happening on the inside shows up on the outside. I focus less on perfect outcomes and more on conscious thoughts and actions, as my reactive mind settles down so that I can become the observer of my mind’s conversation with itself. As I do, I solve problems with the Good Wolf focusing my behavior on trust, caring and ethically sensitive relationships.


Russell Williams,
founder/president
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge
ethicaledge.org