Pioneers have visions of something better


Pioneers don’t depend on others to guide their lives and futures. As someone once said, they “promote the exercise of one’s own goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance.”


ED NOTE: Many of us devote much effort to commenting on what’s wrong with America and the rest of the world. Occasionally it helps to look at the glass that’s half full rather than half empty. The article below focuses on America’s pioneering spirit.


by Paul J Balles


Having been a frequent critic of what I’ve seen wrong with America, it’s time to reminisce about some of what’s great about my country.

One of the most admirable traits of Americans is that we’re pioneers. That’s more than just praise for the rugged settlers who came to America from Europe or those who migrated from east to west.

Not everything about settling America is praiseworthy; but apart from the reprehensible treatment of some Indians on their land, the pioneering spirit became ingrained into the American psyche.

Going into unexplored territory in search of a new life became intrinsic to American culture. The pioneering spirit drove explorations and discoveries of every possible dimension from early medical research to travel in space.

What distinguishes the pioneering spirit that Americans are rightly proud of?

Pioneers are not happy with the present. They visualize something better beyond their immediate world and way of life.

People like Charles Lindberg who flew across the Atlantic for the first time looked forward as much as the later astronauts who blasted off into outer space for the first time.

The medical professionals who risked their lives in first-time experiments with drugs or procedures exemplified the nature of the pioneer.

Pioneers don’t depend on others to guide their lives and futures. As someone once said, they “promote the exercise of one’s own goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance.”

Every once in awhile an individualist appears in politics.  In America, we have two notable figures, both in the congress: Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich.  Both Paul and Kucinich have constituents who appreciate their individualism. Unfortunately, the US Congress and the general electorate do not.


Pioneers exercise independent judgment, often in opposition to conventional wisdom. This has been true of many American business men and women.

Author Ayn Rand provided an excellent example of individualist thinking in her novels, the most famous of which is The Fountainhead.

The novel’s hero, Howard Roark, agrees to provide the architectural design for a housing project on the promise that nothing be changed. When the city’s fathers permit changes to save money, he blows up the project. Rand’s defence is a remarkable justification of Roark’s action.

Nothing I’ve said so far is meant to imply that individualism is exclusive to America. Furthermore, many Americans exemplify collectivism.

Individuals use their ingenuity to develop inventions, innovations, enterprises and new ideas. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple provide excellent examples of innovative, pioneering American individuals.

To achieve their goals and desires, pioneers value independence and self-reliance. They are risk-takers, often with the courage to travel down untrodden paths and into perilous territory to reach their goals.

Last March, Forbes magazine ran a story on 39 gutsy entrepreneurs, executives, celebrities, politicians and athletes about the greatest risks they ever took.

As a result of their efforts, pioneers improve life for themselves, and they make the world a better place for the rest of us.

In America, the frequency and importance of our discoveries have distinguished the country’s achievements.

In one of his speeches, President John F. Kennedy said about pioneering choices we make:


“…not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win ….”

I’m proud of the pioneering spirit America instilled in me.

In their rare joint appearance are two symbols of America’s pioneering spirit, visionaries, creative geniuses and remarkably modest individuals.  

Bill Gates and Late Steve Jobs Together

Edited : Debbie Menon

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Diaper pattern I would like a pattern for an all-in-one cloth diaper that is leak-proof (I’m willing to pay for it). I also would need it to be of varying sizes. Maureen Creeden, 3866 Irish Hill Rd., Marathon, NY 13803 Yeast from hops Doesanyone know how to get yeast from hops that I could use for baking? P. Brooks, 2510 Lake Rd., Andover, OH 44003 Bear fat uses Does anyone have any interesting uses for bear fat? Frances Russell, PO Box 25224, Eugene, OR 97402 Homeschooling info & table loom needed I am wondering if there are other Iowa homesteaders who are involved in homeschooling who can share the laws and requirements with me (my daugher is now enrolled in a public school). I am also in need of a sturdy 23″-32″ table loom and any accessories at low cost. Katherine Mary Christy, RR 1 Box 116A, Davis City, IA 50065 Live-in caretaker needed Single Christian mom with 3 school-age children in serious need of a live-in housekeeper and cook, in exchange for room and board. You would need transportation and a part-time job for personal expenses. Room for a few animals or garden of your own. No drugsor smoking; minimal alcohol; must be over 18. I will consider another single parent–we can work out the details. I’d also like to correspond with anyone who has experienced this type of arrangement. Ruth Mayo, 1961 16th Rd., Clay Center, KS 67432 DeLaval separator My husband bought me a DeLaval World Standard Gold Series Cream Separator. Can anyone tell me where we can get replacement parts or find out what the colors were and how to repaint where needed? Ruth Beardslee; [email protected] Fragrant tobacco and loganberries Relocating I would like to relocate near family in Virginia. I have a 2 acre farm in WA; possible trade. Helen, 18411 Summitview Rd., Teton, WA 98947; 509-678-5889 My family is interested in purchasing 5-20 acres of wooded/semi-wooded land within 4-5 hours of Milwaukee, WI. Jim Durgan, 4069 N. 89th St., Milwaukee, WI 53222; 414-536-4870. see here dog treat recipes

Caretaker wanted I am seeking a person or family who is thinking about homesteading but would prefer “testing before investing” to take care of the critters while I travel. In exchange you get a rent-free plot upon which to install a trailer or build from local timber. No electricity or rural water. Small town shopping is 20 miles away. Willow Cramlet, PO Box 460, Huntsville, AR 72740 Misc.

New, hardcover books for the postage. Need used greeting cards, stickers. Want to buy big old farmhouse & barn in IN. 4 boxes free recipes. 67 HC novels, free. Will trade cat & dog treat recipes for three stamps; or recipes, for flower & veggie seeds. Small craft patterns–an envelope full for a couple of stamps. Susie Smith, 242 W. Union, Goodland, IN 47948 Resin recipe In many old formulas I see a softwood tree product called “resin.” I can’t find this ingredient, or instructions on how to make it from trees. For any information, I would bewilting to research something you want to know about homesteading. Lee Patricia Coutu, 42 Clarendon Springs Ln., West Rutland, VT 05777 Pen pals – Youth I am a 12-year-old boy looking for a pen pal who is also a boy, 12 to 13. I like many types of music and sports, especially playing baseball, watching football and playing computer games. We have a small homestead where we raise over half of our food. Jason, PO Box 342, New Ipswich, NH 03071-0342 I would like a girl pen pal ages 6-9. I like swimming, music, horses and reading. I am homeschooled. Jennifer Windrow, 504 Mead Dr., Rockford, IL61109 I am an 11-year-old homeschooled girl. My family and I live on a farm with goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and soon, rabbits. I enjoy reading, piano, cooking and 4-H. I would like a Christian girl pen pal, around my age. Meagan Ray, 395 Center Point Rd., White Mills, KY 42788 I am a 15-year-old homeschooled Christian. I love animals and children. I play piano,enjoy reading, and Christian, gospel and classical music. I would like a pen pal my age or older. Naomi Torres, 34 Mill St., Cassadaga, NY 14718 I am a 13-year-old homeschooled girl. My interests include reading, writing stories, riding horses (I don’t have one), playing with my cats and listening to the radio. We are moving to the country soon and I would love some pen pals age 11-16, boy or girl. Shiloh Ohmes, PO Box 3433, Stinnett, TX 79083 I am 14 and enjoy animals, sports and music. I live in the country and enjoy being outside. I’m looking for pen pals. Amanda Barney, 1000 Morning Star Trail, Red Rock, TX 78667 Pen pals — Adult I am a 24-year-old housewife with 4 small children. I homeschool two of them. I enjoy gardening, sewing, reading and long walks. I am seeking an independent Baptist or Christian pen pal. Angela Smith, PO Box 119, Ashton, NE 68817 My husband and I are 35 years old and have 5 children ages 4 to 12. We currently have sheep and chickens, and are off grid. We would like to learn “old farm” methods. I want to learn to spin, dye and weave wool. We would like to hear from other Christians who love the country. Sally Macnearney, 19 Angevine Rd., Barr Settlement, Nova Scotia, B2S 3C2 Canada I would like to swap seeds, find out more about canning, raising livestock (especially chickens), making money from the land, treating diseases & insects without poison. I am 36, husband 49, daughter 15, sons 9, 11, & 17. As a family we collect donkey items–buttons, stamps, etc. C.L.M.P.T.L., Rt. 3 Box 416, Pikeville, TN 37367 I am a 43-year-old married mother of 4, grandma of 2. I enjoy canning, animals, especially dairy goats, pot-belly pigs, poultry, and rabbits. I crochet afghans, collect China dolls & Boyde bears. I would like to correspond with other women with similar interests all over the U.S. I’m from southern IN. Michelle Burton, 4231 E. US Hwy. 150, Paoli, IN 47454 I am a 29-year-old single male looking for pen pals from the country. I have horses, chickens, ducks, and I love fishing, camping and gardening. I am also looking for pictures of teams of horses and mules and yokes of oxen–I would be glad to pay for them. Michael Weinrich, 3932 Sunfish Creek Rd., Piketon, OH 45661 I’m looking for a pen pal who likes to talk about life experiences, good or bad, embarrassing or admirable. I’m 23 and live in VA. I’ve had a somewhat adventurous life and would love to tell my stories and hear about others. Will Elliott, PO Box 104, Prospect, VA 23960 My husband and I live totally off grid, and raise vegetables, herbs and flowers. I would like to hear from pen pals who homestead and people who would like to trade seeds. Lillian Faubus, PO Box 1226, Columbia, KY 42728 I am 27 years old and recently relocated to a farm. I would like to hear from those willing to share their experiences. My interests include animals, reading, chess and business. Bobby Turner 894405,1700 N. FM 87, Bonham, TX 75418 I lost almost all of my pen pal addresses during a recent move (my shoebox was lost). I am hoping someone will see this and write me at my new address. I would love pen pals who are totally offgrid and self-reliant, or who live in a remote area. I would also like to hear from any ladies living alone off-grid. Please, no prisoners or chain letters. Holly Galarno, 1019 State Rd. 17 North, Sebring, FL 33870 in our site dog treat recipes


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