By Diana Patton, Social Justice Advocate
The Truth Contributor
The sixth-grade students at the Ella P. Student Academy (“Ella”) were asked “Which Wolf They Are Feeding?” and they were read this poem:
A Cherokee elder was teaching his children about life. He said to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me. It’s a fight between two wolves. One is the wolf of joy, love, hope, kindness, and compassion. The other is the wolf of fear, anger, cynicism, indifference, and greed. The same fight is going on inside of you, and every other person, too.” The children thought about it for a moment, and then one child asked, “Which wolf will win?” The elder replied, “Whichever one you feed.”
I, Diana Patton, founder of the Head Full of Dreams (HFOD) program and the University of Toledo’s Talented Aspiring Women Leaders (TAWL) mentors, introduced this poem, asked a set of questions and issued a challenge to the students, and their parents, during a HFOD teaching topic.
The students were asked to identify the fight, the struggle, that is going on inside of them.
This fight isn’t just going on inside students, it’s going on inside of all of us – it’s in the teachers, parents, social workers, school counselors, principals, and even in superintendents, to name a few. It doesn’t even matter if you’re an author, lawyer, doctor, janitor, administrator, or even the mayor – this fight is happening in all of us.
The key is to identify this fight, it in everyday life.
Over the next two weeks, each Ella student has been asked to intentionally CHOOSE which wolf they will feed, each day, inside of the classroom. They have also been asked to share this with their parents!
Then, when I and the TAWL ladies reconvene on December 14, for another teaching session, we will discuss the choices the girls have made, which will also determine who will be allowed to continue to participate in the HFOD’s program. After all, we all know that our choices, and decisions, have consequences.
It’s a wonderful way to understand how we decide which behavior we choose, and what the impact of our choices are.
However, the students know, that if they are having difficulty, or chronically struggle to choose the wolf of kindness, joy, peace and contentment, they can talk to a counselor.
One student that is choosing the wolf of kindness, despite what is going on, is our November 2021 Student of the month, Amya Roberson.
Amya is new to Ella, and it was SO BEAUTIFUL to hear her fellow classmates stand up and share why they felt like Amya deserved to win.
Each month, a sixth grade Ella student is chosen as the HFOD student of the month for displaying good character, having a great attitude, attending school, and doing well and making great efforts with their grades. The Ella teachers select each student of the month.
Next, as part of the HFOD program, November student of the month, Amya; Ella P. Stewart Principal, Rhonda Kimmons; HFOD Founder, Diana Patton and TAWL Student Director, Kyndra Gaines, will take Amya out to dinner at a restaurant of her choice.
Stay tuned for our December student of the month, and learn more about the teaching topic by tuning in to a January article.
Until then, perhaps you can ask yourself “Which Wolf Am I Feeding?”
Every single day, decide which wolf you’ll choose to feed. Is it the wolf of anger, fear, doubt, frustration, worry, greed or jealousy? Or, the wolf of kindness, joy, love, compassion, hope, and humility.
It’s yours to choose.
Let’s do this together.
Congratulations to Amya!
If you’d like to learn more about the Ella P. Stewart Head Full of Dreams Program, or find out how you can participate or donate to this amazing program, reach out to Diana Patton by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org