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R.J. Dupre column: Risk takers

DETROIT LAKES -- In life those who dare to take risks are individuals who are not afraid of failing. They learn from their experiences and are down there on the field , living and participating in their own destiny. It takes courage and stamina to be willing to express what they feel and believe in. Thank God for those people, for they are the proof of an ever-changing world.

New ideas and discoveries are necessary for civilizations to exist and thrive, whether it be in politics science, art, social issues, spiritual insights or daily living. It's about following your dreams and credos, standing up and being counted. It implies that by taking the risk of speaking out and going against the flow, will bring opposition, debate, and often retaliation from those who disagree, censor or do not like "rocking the boat"

Going against convention has a price, but it also gives the individual his or her validity as a thinking, acting and changing person. I remember how, many years ago, I would agree with people just to be accepted. I would apologize for who I was and how I felt, until I realized that I had the right to be myself wherever I was and with whomever I was with. I learned that conquering my fear of rejection and disapproval was the key to my freedom.

Today I can agree to disagree; I can accept someone's opinion without being so judgemental, that I will shut my mind to anything, or anyone, who does not follow my beliefs. Every one of us has the right to take the risk to be oursleves, to welcome new ideas and concepts. After all, it allows us to have interesting and challenging discussions with one another.

Maybe, the "trailblazers"of our world are showing us, that no matter how hard the right ofr self-expression can be, it is better than sitting in the bleachers of life, wishing that one day, we could be with those down there in the "melee", living life to the fullest, in spite of the bumps and bruises inflicted upon us by our "risk-taking" actions.

Remember that you have the choice to be who you are, to create new ideas and welcome new perceptions from any source. Do not worry about what others will do, think or say about you. Just stay true to yourself and let your heart guide you. It will be the best journey you will ever take.