Lone Wolf No More: Building Character Through The Wolf Pack

Last night I was hanging with some buddies, and we were talking activities and sports. We started equating certain sports with being “alpha”…the word many young guys use to calibrate what’s manly. As I was laughing and joining in, it hit me how judgmental I was acting. Is football a more “manly” sport than golf? Who makes that distinction? It compelled me to research “alpha,” a term derived from animal interactions. Alphas are dominant animals that get their pick of mates and food. One animal that has been used to define alpha is the gray wolf.

According to Wikipedia, the gray wolf has “highly advanced expressive behavior.” The wolf is an “apex predator,” a “social animal” and travels with a “nuclear family,” remaining in a monogamous relationship through life.

“Although some wolves are solitary”

Something about the “lone wolf” hit me. I’ve been the lone wolf. It took me back to high school, and I remembered my sophomore year when I felt intensely alone, and completely separated from the pack. I read books by philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and found justification for my aloneness. However, we were all created to be like wolves. In nature, the lone wolf is rare. Men were created to roam in packs.

I believe the fight for equality has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with the need each one of us has to belong.  This is nothing new. Charles H. Spurgeon said,

In order to have fellowship with any man, there must be a concord of heart. ‘Can two walk together unless they be agreed?’ At the very bottom of fellowship there must be a likeness; we must have like wishes, like desires; we must have espoused like ends, and our spirits must be welded together in the intention to effect like purposes.

Men desperately need to incubate in a group of men. It’s the only way one can become a better man. College fraternities were formed in the 1800’s to nurture solid men. While stereotypes linger, if you were to read the manual for each fraternity, they would all point towards building character.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

You become sharper through close friendship, through a pack….and alpha terminology isn’t helping anyone.

The lone wolf “may be stronger, more aggressive and far more dangerous than the average wolf,” but when it comes down to it, the lone wolf is not equipped for hunting and has to settle for smaller prey.  Do you have a dream that just seems too big to carry out on your own?  Maybe it’s time you join a pack, or maybe start a pack of your own.

It turns out, alpha hierarchy has only been observed among gray wolves in captivity, but may not apply to wolves in the wild. Could it be alpha culture only arises when men are in a captivated and weakened state? A state of skinny jeans, fakes tans, and Instagram posts? If so, shouldn’t we seek to be wild men where judgmental alpha terminology is no longer needed?

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2 Responses to Lone Wolf No More: Building Character Through The Wolf Pack

  1. Freedomborn - Set Free Eternally July 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi Kris, I have children in my neighbourhood who I’m helping to create Power Points with, one is about wolves so your information will be very helpful, thank you.

    Of course I don’t have anything to do with the Occult , Satan’s playground, so I didn’t consult the stars etc but I did look into names and their meanings in History.

    In Scripture they were based on a person’s Character or Nature and today too some choose names for their Children by their meaning. My first name Anne comes from the Hebrew name Hannah, so does Anna and Annie and there are other names that are derived from Hannah, which means Grace. My pen name is Annie and Melody.

    Good to know Kris your not like the wolves mentioned in Scripture and that you were pleased the four legged type are monogamous for life, as a man thinks in his heart so he does, commitment is very precious.

    I liked your point about being of one mind, God tells us in Scripture we to are to be in Unity in The Body of Christ and to have the same focus and we will if we have the mind of Christ and The Holy Spirit doesn’t change His mind, so there are no contradictions in the Scriptures, just man’s own fleshy understanding of them.

    Take care – Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • GoodGuySwag July 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Thank you Anne. At our men’s group a few weeks ago, we took our First Middle and Last names and looked up their meanings. My name means “Christ-bearing” “God Will Add” and Wolfe means “faith in adversity.” I like all of those 🙂

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