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Updated on March 4, 2011

Perhaps this is what you picture when you think of pioneers.

Pioneers on the trail.
Pioneers on the trail.

Have you ever wondered what pioneers really are?

Historically speaking, when one refers to a group of people as pioneers, the image of an ox-pulled covered wagon, loaded with people attempting to settle the wild frontier may spring to mind.

People, who in search of a better life, left their homes and everything they knew to venture into the great unknown, forging ahead, inexperienced as far as what the future had to offer.


Pioneers faced challenges and hardships.

Pioneer women often would collect buffalo chips to make fires to cook with.
Pioneer women often would collect buffalo chips to make fires to cook with.

Pioneers went where nobody had gone before.

There may be many reasons someone would choose to take this challenge. Quite possibly the opportunity for adventure, a chance to start over, or simply a search for a place where one could reside unbothered by the demands of society, may have been the draw. Maybe it was just that they were in search of a better way.

Whatever the motivation was, these people were explorers of the greatest measure. They chose to go boldly ahead, “going where no one had gone before.”

You might find pioneers where you least expect them.

You may actually be part of a team of pioneers.
You may actually be part of a team of pioneers.

There is more to pioneers than meets the eye.

There is more however to being a pioneer than can be perceived by that image alone.

There are pioneers in all areas of life. They may be your neighbors, your friends, people you associate with at work, or even your own family members.

By looking closely you may see them everyday, in places you would have never expected to find them.

Pioneers, creative, courageous, and committed.

To find pioneers, all you need to do is look.
To find pioneers, all you need to do is look.

So what exactly is a pioneer, one may ask.

Pioneers are initiates. They are people who take the lead. They participate in the development of something new or untried. They may be found in a range of individuals, from doctors, lawyers, politicians, professors, to the simplest and most humble of creations, that of a small child. They are creative, courageous, and committed, never content to remain stagnant.

  • "Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others." Robert Louis Stevenson

Pioneers make a difference for others.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Bridges instead of walls.

Making the path easier for others to follow behind.
Making the path easier for others to follow behind.

Pioneers are bridge builders.

Pioneers open up an area; they prepare a way for others to follow. Working to improve, uplift, build, and explore places where once found, can provide shelter, strength, safety, and peace for those in need.

They may come in different colors, different races, different sexes, and certainly from different economic backgrounds. They may be parents, teachers, grandparents, soldiers, activists; definitely each could be labeled “one who is ahead of his time.”

All have one thing in common, and that is to make a difference in the life of someone following behind. They are bridge builders.

  • "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." Albert Einstein

Pioneers are inventors.

Brilliant minds search for answers to questions.
Brilliant minds search for answers to questions.

Pioneers make a difference.

Pioneers are inventors.

Their minds are never at rest, continually seeking to produce a faster, better, simpler, easier, commodity or cure. They open up new areas of research, new fields of development, new plains of art, and faster ways of production.

They are searchers, ever looking for something that can make a difference.

  • "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants." Isaac Newton

It takes Faith to be a pioneer.

It doesn’t matter what shape or form pioneers take, they all qualify to be called pioneers in three ways.

The first qualification comes in one great area that requires courage. Each must be willing to take that “leap of faith.” That chance for success or failure.

Many times they have much to lose, in some cases, even their very lives may be at stake.

Pioneers need to be able to take that "leap of faith."

Pioneers must have hope.

For this reason the very next quality they must possess is that of hope.

They hope for a brighter future, a better way, peace and understanding, and a purpose to risk it all.

They hope for change.

Pioneers are filled with hope.

Pioneers live by charity.

Finally, they all must have the gift of charity.

They may endure hardships unmeasured, rebukes from those who do not understand, and set backs at every corner, but still they press forward for the sake of others. They understand what it means to “love unconditionally.”

They are forever in search of the higher road.

Pioneers show true love...through acts of charity.

Pioneers live forever in our hearts.

Faith, hope, and charity prevails.
Faith, hope, and charity prevails.

Pioneers are heroes.

  • "The great destroyers of nations and men are comfort, plenty and security. A coward gets scared and quits. A hero gets scared, but still goes on." Author Unknown

Future pioneers.

Our future generation of leaders.
Our future generation of leaders.

Future pioneers- press forward in faith.

How grateful we should be for the pioneers in our lives, for those who have come before, making us a stronger, a healthier, a happier, and a wiser people.

To understand our future we must embrace our past, with gratitude, and give back to the present.

To all the pioneers of the future, a charge to press forward in faith is forever given.

You don’t have to push a handcart,

Leave your fam’ly dear,

Or walk a thousand miles or more

To be a pioneer!

You do need to have great courage,

Faith to conquer fear,

And work with might for a cause that’s right

To be a pioneer!

We are marching, ever marching.

We are marching, ever marching,

Marching onward, ever onward.

We are pioneers;

Ruth Muir Gardner, 1927–1999

  • "It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. It is good to look upon the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. It is good to reflect upon the work of those who have labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has become a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries." Gordon B. Hinckley


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