It dawned upon me that the measure of “man” (men&women) is not so much about how they act during the times of victory (which is still very important mind you) but who they are as a person when the sh*t really hits the fan. The true test of character comes when you are down…really down…and everything around you seems dark. Winston Churchill called this darkness “The Black Dog” and many have experienced that feeling of something lurking behind you ready to snap at any happiness that you may create for yourself. If we let it, then of course the animal will follow us…because we feed it. And in that, I am reminded of an old Cherokee Tale.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

It is incredibly easy to lose perspective in this world. If you turn on the TV you will see all sorts of garbage and it will leave you untrusting of what is actually being fed to you. Hate spills all out over the internet, people hide behind social media and technology, and through it all true integrity, accountability, and perspective on what truly matters in life gets completely trampled. It was in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” that he describes that once a man reaches the light from the pit of darkness and his eyes adjust…he will  truly understand that the only things that really matter in this world are wisdom and virtue. Because everything else is really just stuff. The things you have don’t own you. Your celebrations, your events etc…those are just things that are happening because of something inside you. The good comes with the good and the bad comes with the bad. A solid heart leads to great things happening – and visa versa.

So learn to dance in the rain. Learn to enjoy the sound of the patter on the roof of your car as you turn off the car and the radio. Sit there for a second and really listen. You can either try to avoid it…or ditch the umbrella and go out there and get soaked – and enjoy every single second of it. Because this life has so much to teach you, but don’t just look for the lessons during the good times…be aware of the fact that it is only when it is dark outside that you can appreciate the brightness of the stars.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project