January 23, 2009

Obama hears Cherokee story

Cherokee Wisdom Invoked as Obama BeginsPresident Barack Obama on Wednesday participated in a traditional, post-inaugural national prayer service and listened intently to a message attributed to Cherokee wisdom.

The Rev. Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, cautioned Obama that he was beginning his presidency at a trying time that "will tend to draw you away from your ethical center."

"But we, the nation that you serve, need you to hold the ground of your deepest values, of our deepest values," she said.

Watkins then told a story she attributed to Cherokee wisdom about a man trying to teach his grandson about the internal battle people face, one between a vengeful, angry wolf and a compassionate, faithful one. When the grandson asks which wolf wins, his grandfather replies: "The one you feed."

1 comment:

The Local Crank said...

This story (which has been around for years) is of very dubious Cherokee attribution. For one thing, Cherokee boys would more likely hear such stories from their uncles or grandmothers. For another, wolves would not have been objects of fear as the story implies. The Wolf Clan was traditionally the largest Cherokee clan.