Let the dread of endless mediocrity
spur you into great effort,
like a well-trained horse
encouraged by the mere touch of the whip.
Relinquish the burden of endless struggle
with unapologetic confidence,
with purity of action, effort, concentration,
and by conscious and disciplined commitment
to the path.
Dhammapada v. 144
It is appropriate to feel afraid at the thought of being endlessly caught up in delusion and suffering. It is a mistake to think that all feelings of fear are a symptom that we are somehow failing. Sometimes, feeling afraid may well be a warning sign that we are in danger and need to be extra careful. Fear can serve to protect us from harm. Like a good friend who points out something that we perhaps don’t want to hear, but need to, fear can also serve as a motivator.