To laugh is to risk appearing foolish.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement.

To show your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk losing them.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk life itself.

To hope is to risk disappointment.

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest risk is never to take your your chances.

The person who risks nothing may avoid suffering and sorrow but can never learn, or feel, or change, or grow or love.

To risk nothing is to cast away freedom and to become enslaved.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, becomes nothing.

Only a person who accepts risks can be truly free.

[Obviously such a poem does not tell a person which way to go in life, but it reminds me that some fear is healthy, and to step into that fear is not necessarily as foolish as it may first seem.]