A Thousand Fears

“Of the thousand fears inside every human, fear for yourself is a small one. If the only fear you must face is fear for yourself, the only pain you must endure your own pain, then for the love of god life is simple. You can steel yourself or lie to yourself or blow hard pride into yourself. You can stand straight up and forget your own mortality and be loose and liquidy, drunk on your own fear and resolve, and do something someone will someday call brave….

There is only one fear that slices you all over inside as if you had swallowed a scalpel: the fear for ANOTHER human. Take someone you love, your child or brother or mother, and imagine them being hurt. That is fear. Fear you don’t know where to find courage for. Fear you cannot get drunk on.”

-Mark Jenkins, Off the Map: Bicycling Across Siberia


The truth about fear. For for ourselves is never, really, the problem. I have found this in my own life. Through all my suffering, even on my worst days, I find myself sometimes thinking:

If all my suffering means someone I love suffers less, I’ll gladly accept it. 

I worry sometimes it only causes them more…I guess that’s what we gamble when we love, huh? The fear of witnessing someone else’s pain.


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