Do you feed your nurturant wolf? This week on my morning treadmill, I fed my nurturant wolf by watching Walt Disney’s 2015 movie Tomorrowland. In it, Britt Robertson plays Casey, who seeks to save humanity’s future by constantly feeding her nurturant wolf. In fact, what keeps her going is taking to heart her father’s story about two wolves fighting inside of him. Furthermore, one wolf is strict and punishing while the other is nurturing and empathic. And she finds strength in her father’s reminder to feed the nurturing wolf. Consequently, she relentlessly feeds the nurturant wolf of her ally, Frank Walker played by George Clooney. Finally, Casey convinces Frank to persevere and care more effectively.
When your baby cries at night, do you pick her up?
Do you feed your nurturant wolf? Scientists recently developed a related question that identifies conservatives – strict and punishing – from progressives – nurturing and empathic: “When your baby cries at night do you pick her up?” If you answer yes, you are feeding the empathic and nurturing wolf. If you answered yes, you are considered a progressive because you govern an important part of your life with empathy and nurturance no matter your party affiliation. Most importantly, the Empathy Surplus Project wants to help you extend that governance of care in your political life.
The discernment of the two wolves happens naturally in the brain.
On December 8th my Empathy Surplus Congress testimony answers the question: Do you feed your nurturant wolf? Moreover, we’re reading George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling’s Your Brain’s Politics: How the Science of Mind Explains the Political Divide. And over the next three weeks Chapter 4, entitled “Morality, Times Two: How We Acquire and Navigate Two Moral Systems, has three sections that nurtures our discussion. Furthermore, our human brain structure naturally enables discernment of the two wolves in our lives – dominance or empathy, strictness or nurturance, conservatism, or progressivism. So when our family and communities collaborate effectively, we feed the empathic wolf and our children become stronger nurturers.
It takes a village to feed the nurturant wolf.
The two wolves can be thought of as frames. And the daily feeding of the nurturant wolf is using the concept of personhood reflexivity to strengthen caring thought leadership. So for progressive and nurturant morality in political discourse to feel like a comfortable sweater takes commitment to and nurturant action in and out of our communities of practice. Consider being my guest for the next four weeks by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.