Pioneers


Covered Wagon.  Based on photo by By B.D.’s world 
 via Wikimedia Commons

Stand on the main street of most of our small Minnesota towns, employ just a little bit of imagination, and our frontier heritage comes sharply into focus.  Today, that building on Main Street might be an art supply store, but it’s easy to see that it was a dry goods emporium not so long ago. In the mind’s eye, SUVs and hybrid cars fade away, to be replaced by buckboard wagons and Model Ts.  In Minnesota, our past is standing at our shoulder.  
Those earlier generations of settlers exemplified the qualities which we hold most valuable in ourselves.  They worked hard, they took risks, they had a passionate faith that things would get better.  And when tragedy struck, they worked with one another to comfort each other, to ride out the emergency, and to rebuild.
We’re all familiar with frontier scenes of a family standing in the wreckage of a home and barn smashed by storm. And we know that soon neighbors will arrive, coming to their aid. The men and women of a community banding together: sawing, hammering, painting, cooking, singing and rebuilding. In short, taking care of each other. 
This drive to protect seemed to be almost instinctive to proceeding generations- there is a strong need to reach out and to help.  And we think we still carry that instinct within us to this day.
The economic model of our modern society works a little differently than it did 150 years ago. Because we have built successfully on the foundations laid down by our ancestors, the scope of our community has grown dramatically.  This growth has made so many amazing things possible – advances in science, medicine, farming, building…the list is endless.
There is a tradeoff, however, in that we sometimes lose the sense of society felt by those who came before us. And what happens to that drive to protect what has been built?
It may sound a bit corny, but in many ways insurance represents a modern way to accomplish what our forebears did at a barn raising.  Insurance is how we pool our resources, and come together in a time of need to restore a sense of normality and safety to those who have been afflicted by misfortune.  Seeing a family bounce back following a severe setback is one of the greatest rewards of working in this business.  And, as we look to the past, it’s nice to think, that in a new way, we’re following the same trails our predecessors laid down.
Staff Writer