When we are born and begin our lives, we are fearless.

I am terrified of creepy crawlies. I hate snakes: I gag at the sight of a snake on the National Geographic channel. Snakes are my biggest fear. But I found an old photo of myself, taken by my parents when we were on holiday in Thailand. There I was, 8 years old, a huge grin on my face, my eyes squinted because of the white-hot sunlight, with a thick, sleek albino python wrapped around my shoulders, my small hand holding its head up, urging it to say “Cheese!” to the camera as well. What happened along the way? I shudder when I look at that photo again. Who was that girl?

Like an empty canvas, the world will paint on our surfaces and the colours will seep into our insides, and with the mish-mash we start absorbing from things and people around us, we become more human. Throw in  some cynicism from the woman who has been betrayed in love, the man who has lost his faith in religion, the old man who has seen the tragedies of war, etc, and balance them out with the love of our parents, the kindness of the tender young boy who rescues a puppy from drowning, the devotion of the teenager to her examinations.

Fearless. That is how we begin. But it is not how we will end.