Donald Sutherland is one of a very large number of what I think of as stealth Canadians. Born in St. John, New Brunswick, he’s a Canadian who’s not widely known as a Canadian. This year, he was the voice behind the I Believe media campaign for CTV’s Olympic coverage. Seamus O’Regan interviewed Sutherland this morning and I want to tell you two things about it.
First, O’Reagan explained how Sutherland introduced Canada to many of the athletes through his voiceover work in the weeks leading up to the games. He then asked if Sutherland felt a catharsis because of his involvement in Canada’s olympic journey to Vancouver. Sutherland paused and said, “No.” He chuckled for a moment and continued, “I’m sorry.” He explained that he just did some voiceovers while the athletes did all the work. He did go on to say that his feelings of catharsis came again and again during the Olympic events that he attended. Canadians value humility and in this sense, Sutherland is a perfect spokesperson for our country.
Second, Sutherland told a Cherokee story. It was so moving that I cannot remember the context at all, so I can’t wrap this up nicely. I’ll leave it to the story. I looked it up and found the story on a site called First People — The Legends. They call it “Two Wolves.”
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 — he 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.”