You should follow the ways
of those who are steadfast,
discerning, pure and aware,
just as the moon follows the path of the stars.
Dhammapada v. 208
Being a follower does not have to mean abdicating personal responsibility. It might mean that, if we are not careful, but being a follower could also mean honouring our personal responsibility creatively and efficiently. The life task of making sense of the apparent chaos around us is our biggest challenge. If we insist on ‘going our own way’ however, we can still end up thoroughly lost, despite the sincerity of our efforts. When those we follow are truly awake to reality, they will serve as a beacon in the dark, helping us to get our bearings. Heading in the right direction doesn’t take away the challenge of transforming rage into something more truly human; nor does it free us from fear. But it can mean that we are not overwhelmed when we are assailed by the consequences of our unawareness, as then there is a better chance we will remember that rage, fear and despair are not ultimate. Freedom from suffering is a realistic goal.