Each month we ask our readers to respond to a question. For June 2017, we asked What is a choice you made or risk you took that you feel proud about?

On the road
Here I am in a line of teenagers in parents' cars waiting to take the Minnesota road test. I'm 74 and hyperventilating. Can I be as brave again as when I went to college at age 34, among teenagers? It's my fourth try at the road test. If I fail one more time, I will quit driving.

Why so late into the world of wheels? My story hinges on a disability I have that robbed me of the ability to walk, to feel my feet. Years before, after 45 years of driving, my feet failed to hit the brakes and I blew through a stop sign. So I quit driving for a year. Then I heard about hand controls. At Regions Hospital I learned I still had good driving skills; it was my feet that don't behave. After lessons with a caring teacher, I learned to drive again. Just one catch: The Road Test!

I DID IT. Go for it, people. Ask for help. Take the risk.
Betty Beier, Edina

A queen's choice
In early March we commemorated the Fast of Esther, the time in ancient history when a Jewish queen of Persia fasted and prayed for success before she went to the king to oppose the genocide he was planning against her people.

The fast led me to reflect, more this year than ever before: What is our responsibility, in any position, to advocate for those who are being marginalized or disrespected in our society? With what seriousness and intention do we need to take every action when we're in a position of authority? Is it possible that, at any moment, we're in this place, at this time, so that we can make this one statement or ask this one question that will make all the difference?
Rebecca Noecker, St. Paul


Going meatless
Over 25 years ago I made the choice to stop eating meat. I've never looked back. As a lifelong animal lover I couldn't justify being complicit in the great suffering and ultimate death of cows, pigs and chickens, when their sentience is as real as yours, mine and our beloved companion animals. With so many healthy and tasty non-meat options available, living a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle is easier than ever. And having my head, heart and actions in line with one another creates a peace of mind that I wouldn't trade for the world ... nor a piece of bacon!
Cari Lombardi, Minneapolis