There is a beautiful analogy in NA and AA that compares your personality to a wolf pack, each wolf representing a different part of your emotional and intellectual make-up: love, fear, hate, reason, etc. The battle for dominance in the pack is decided by which wolf you feed. All of yesterday and last night I was reminded how this analogy works on a mass scale too.
If you are wondering how Brexit happened, how Trump is happening, or any of the other bewilderingly hateful, rampantly ignorant ideologies that are swarming through the hearts and minds of whole nations on the planet, well, we need to ask which wolf we’ve been feeding.
In South Africa we recently saw how people once again took to the streets to burn their own schools and universities to the ground. We wonder how the NRA can say that having more guns keeps Americans safe as they celebrate with mass killings nearly every day. We listen to channel 4 News like this:
To people on the outside it seems patently clear the senselessness of it, but, before we point and blame and shake our heads, ask: which wolf have we been feeding?
The human beast is a creature that is scientifically shown to be more sensitive to signals invoking fear or danger. It has kept us alive in the “survival of the fittest”, so it’s not surprising that the concept of the “inner wolf” has a long history. In literature, lycanthropy is the disease where a human being changes into a wolf. The werewolf is a tradition in many cultures where the inner wolf breaks free to kill everything in its path.
Yesterday we saw what happens when we have fed the wrong wolf for too long. Reason is abandoned and what follows is a veritable blood-bath both socially and economically. A comment on the FT site summed it up,
When facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in an HG Wells novel.
I wish I could also say that “the media” is to blame, as if there was a single entity we could go and turn the volume down on to try to regain our senses. However, the media has played an integral part in this unfolding of events. I could say for instance, “but how can people be so ill-informed?” Well, if you want the best that the media has to offer, programs that are deeply insightful on science and nature or history, just remember the best programming is behind the pay walls of SKY and History and Discovery; it’s for the people who can afford good information. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The mass media has in so many ways betrayed the population that really it has become the mouthpiece of an elite that are woefully disconnected from reality. Why ever would the “mass” trust that? To delve deeply into this read Glenn Greenwald on #Brexit.
For me, today, I want to focus on the only thing I can change; and that’s my own part in this. And so I return to the wolf-pack analogy. We all face a constant internal battle for dominance. It is never won or lost, it is only a temporary gain for the most powerful “wolf” in the pack.
So, think carefully today, which wolf will you choose to feed?
Brett Lotriet Best is the Founder & Creative Director of EdenRage Media, check out their Immersive Storytelling work at www.edenrage.tv. Image courtesy of Unsplash.