The Pioneering Spirit

Consider the pioneers who came to North America, and then traveled west into uncharted territory all in the pursuit of their dreams of land, of freedom, of a fresh start.

What has happened to that pioneering spirit?

In the past, the pioneers dealt constantly with adversaries and adversarial circumstances.

Today, failing to say ‘hello’ to someone is interpreted as a micro-aggression, a threat against our well-being provoking us to scream at the lack of safety in our society, calling us to demand for the forceful implementation of legislation that would cause everyone to be friendly to one another, enforcing everyone to say ‘hello’ in order that a false sense of security, a false sense of friendliness, of cooperation, of respect and connectivity is created.

Today, we will settle for the illusion of friendship instead of building real relationships.

In the past, the pioneers would come into contact with their neighbours only by chance and usually only while working their land, or on the odd occasion when they traveled into town to restock on supplies. Pioneers would go for weeks, perhaps months without socializing or connecting socially nor did they need it. The pursuit of their dream was what they needed, and its what they focused on.

Today, we need to receive a steady stream of approval through our social media connections in order to feel validated, affirmed, supported, accepted. Without someone ‘liking’ or ‘following’ us online, we are lost, incapable of knowing what to do, what we should do.

Today, without the directing hand of our social network, we are lost.

In the past, the pioneers risked everything in order to cross the ocean with only the hope that they would be able to claim a piece of land as their own; land which they would have to fight for, and some would die for. Yet success didn’t come simply with having land… in the first years and often for many years there was the risk of crops failing or of the herd dying. There were no safety measures nor government safety nets in place in the event their attempt to make it in the land of the free didn’t work out. But it didn’t matter to the pioneers… because to them the pursuit of the dream, their dreams was worth it.

Today, risk – any risk – is deemed unacceptable, instead we want every risk eliminated or controlled, we want a risk-less society.

In the past, the pioneers packed and took with them what they could carry, leaving everything else behind when they crossed the ocean to travel to new lands. They left behind the safety of their homeland, the support of family, of the community in which they grew up, they risked everything for the opportunity to be successful – not the guarantee – just the opportunity.

Today, instead of success being achieved through the individual right to chose to be successful or not, we want to socialize the success (i.e. steal the success) of those who did risk it all so that it can be redistributed so those who chose not to venture to unknown lands, who chose not to accept the challenges, the risks and the dangers associated with pioneering so that they too can ‘feel’ successful.

What has happened to that pioneering spirit?

Today, we are a bunch of cowards… stuck in our status quo, stuck in our social circles, fearfilled at the thought that we may be asked to risk anything at all.

Only once we regain the spirit of the pioneers will we regain our vitality, our energy, our sense of purpose, direction and meaning.