It has been said that fear brings death. That it is to be avoided, defeated, and surpassed. But that isn’t the truth. Fear is one of the greatest assets you have. It’s the primal motivation, the darkness of the abyss that keeps you moving, climbing, struggling and striving for more and better. It’s the virtuous poison; in the wrong circumstances it can drag you down and make you sick, but in others it fuels you with a reserve you didn’t know that you had left. Fear is power and energy. It’s the tickle in the back of your neck that lets you know you’re alive and it keeps you that way. Fear drags you up out of the dirt when all else fails you and kicks you in the ass until you start running again. When kindness and hope and trust and anger and sorrow all fail you, and believe me they will, fear will be your companion. It was there before all of the others, and it will be the last one to remain, unto your very last breath. Casting off fear is walking a never-ending tightrope with no net below it. I suppose in a civilized society, for people who’s biggest problem is, compared to survival, infinitely shallow, fear could be considered a bad thing. To those who let fear rule them, it could be desirable to overcome it. For those who can’t use fear, who don’t understand it, it can be a problem to surpass, to try and feel superior to because they “conquered their fear.” But for a hundred thousand years, fear was the only thing that kept us from the darkness, from obliteration. Fear is the reason, the only reason, humans ever made it to the point that they could consider fear a “problem.” It’s more ingrained in us than the need to eat and breed. However I, for one, will ever consider fear a friend, a motivator, a coach, and a mentor. I fear being mugged, so I train my body and learn to fight. I fear mediocrity, so I go to school and write stories and poems to better my mind. I fear death, so I strive to live a healthier life. I fear being alone, so I work to cultivate relationships with friends and family. I’m not particularly good at any of those, not yet. But I’m trying. I’m striving. I’m bettering. All because of my fear. Because a life without fear is stagnation, and complacency. Without fear, you’re already dead.