The Brief: "Inside you there are two wolves" memes illustrate the dualities of the human experience through a comedic remix of a Cherokee legend.

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“Two Wolves:” A Cherokee Legend

The foundation of “inside you there are two wolves” memes originates from a Cherokee legend wherein a grandfather tells his grandson about a “terrible fight” between two wolves inside him. One wolf is good and the other is evil, he explains, and the wolf that will win is “the one you feed.”

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – his is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” –firstpeople.us

There Are Two Wolves Inside You

While these memes are a much lighter and sillier take on this story, they often boil down to the same concept: that humans are complex creatures with multitudes of thoughts, feelings, and urges. Most memes follow the script: “There are two wolves inside you. One is ____ and the other is ____.” Variations of this meme format include both literal and absurd renditions, such as poking fun at the concept of physically having two wolves inside one’s body, or imagining that the two wolves represent physical objects rather than abstract traits.

https://twitter.com/anarchotankie/status/1182127329465618432

https://twitter.com/osutein/status/1137809975869358081

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