I like the well-known story of an Indian brave who when facing a dilemma goes to the wise old Chief for advice. “It feels like there are two wild wolves fighting inside me,” he says. “One I know is good and wants to do what is right. The other is not good and wants to do what is wrong. Which wolf is going to win?” he asks. After pausing for a moment, the old Chief looks caringly at the young brave and quietly replies, “The one you chose to feed.”
I was told this next story many years ago by a person who claimed it to be true; “There was an alcoholic man who fell in love with a prostitute. She became pregnant, and while giving birth to twin boys she died, leaving the father to look after them.
A reporter in the town heard of this and decided to write an article in the newspaper in an attempt to drum up support for the family.
Over thirty years later, the now retired reporter was thumbing through his old articles and came across that story. Realising the two boys would now be grown men he decided to try and find them and see how they were after such a hard start to life.
The reporter went back to the town he had originally written the article in, and there in the same bar his father used to frequent was one of the twins.
Introducing himself the retired reporter said, “You don’t know me, but thirty years ago I was a reporter in this town and I wrote an article about the sad situation of your mother’s death and how your father was left to look after you, can you tell me what has led you to be where you are now?”
Through blurry eyes the young man looked up at him and replied, “Well it’s obvious isn’t it, my mother was a prostitute and my father an alcoholic, I had no choice.”
The reporter spent some time tracking down the other twin who had left the town a number of years earlier. When he finally managed to find him, he discovered that he was now the Mayor of a large city.
After being invited into his office the reporter introduced himself to the well-dressed young man saying, “You don’t know me, but thirty years ago I was a reporter in the town you were born in and I wrote an article about the sad situation of your mother’s death and how your father was left to look after you, can you tell me what has led you to be where you are now?”
To which the young man replied “Well it’s obvious isn’t it, my mother was a prostitute and my father an alcoholic, I had to be different.”
Whether true or not, this story, like the Indian brave one, is a reminder that our choices have consequences, and though we can’t go back to make a new past, we can start now to make a new future.