Let me tell you a story.
When I was young, I was convinced one of two things would happen:
I would either die young or I would live ignorant.
And I was allowed to believe it.
I was careful, avoiding snakes, spiders, dirt, human beings, love.
I horded books, enough to give myself a doctorate in any field.
And I was called paranoid. Idiotic. A fool. Freak. Doomed.
But, I kept living anyway. Destroyed, most of the strings in me cut.
But living. And I was allowed to believe it was a gift.
Of course, this is a fiction, lie, metaphor, but the truth stands.
Children are not born to be afraid. They are taught.
Fear is conditioned. Rewarded. Considered a virtue.
The wildness of youth is tromped upon by cleat-clad "caution."
Gone are bright eyes, reckless smiles, heads thrown back. Life.
Dull glances, insurance, cul-de-sacs, and bitten tongues reign. Fear.
And fear is one of the deepest scars we can inflict upon another.
This story is not mine, though I have been the one to tell it.
But I am human. An ocean. A fault line. A candle facing a storm.
This tale, in some chisled fascet, mirrors my own.
And it will continue as long as I draw breath.