This country has puzzled me since 1960, when I belatedly began to think. Where did we get the idea that we are entitled to be pain free and worry free, that accidents must always be someone's fault, that all cancers should be gotten in time, that babies should be born flawless, and that death could be relegated to the back burner? What is the implicit idea about being human here?...Under the rock of every fear is the refusal to accept the contractual conditions of being human. I don't know why I came into the world or where I will go when I boil over on the back burner, but I know that I was born into a condition of radical instability: at any moment the car may drop its muffler, my heart valve may clog, or someone who thinks too much may discover a novel way to surprise me with a dirty bomb. The only way to overcome fear is to accept without equivocation the worst it can propose, belay your ropes, and step accross the next crevasse. We have no choice, anyway, about stepping.