How to Move Forward in This Time of Instability and ChangeBy Homaira Kabir
Sometimes, the simplest of stories are the most profound.
I have a vivid memory. When I was a little girl, at bedtime, my grandmother would tell us the story of two crows. The male crow ate only the foods that people threw out because of greed and excess. The female ate the crumbs people would kindly leave out for love of the crows. The male crow grew strong because most people threw away food all the time. The female stayed frail because few people actually cared for crows. But as time went on, the excess foods poisoned the male crow and he fell very ill. The female crow, on the other hand, grew strong with a heart of love. She collected the “crumbs of love” and fed them to him. Slowly, he recovered. With no crow to eat their surplus food, the people stopped buying and cooking in excess and only fed the crows their leftover bits out of love. And, of course, the whole world lived happily ever after!
When I think back to this story, I can’t help but marvel at how connected our ancestors were to the land, to its many species, and to their responsibility toward society. Almost all traditions have similar parables of good and evil, based on their culture and environment. One that’s more familiar in the Western world is the parable of the two wolves of the heart. The wolf of fear and the wolf of love.
As the narrator tells his grandson about the internal war between the two, the little boy asks: “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
“The one you feed,” comes the wise reply.
We’ve all had days when we’ve fed the wrong wolf. And, these days in particular, it’s easy to get caught in all that’s wrong and uncertain—in rage, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, and pessimism. It’s easy to hang onto anxious thoughts, or to spread messages of divisiveness, often from a place of self-righteousness.
But they only feed our fear.
We can certainly feel anxious about what’s to come. Or angry about everything that undermines basic human rights. But instead of magnifying our differences, we can choose to feed the wolf of love. We can choose to care about possibility and justice. We can choose to spread hope and humility, kindness and generosity. We can choose to show up with compassion because we’re all connected in ways we don’t fully ap