Monday, January 21, 2013

Words of the Fathers

A lot of times in reflection, I come to a "new" realization.  Only later to discover that many before have come to the same conclusion.

Many are talking about the intent of the words of the founding fathers lately.  This week I have been pondering the intent of our nation's founders when they chose the phrase "pursuit of happiness" as opposed to just "happiness" (sorry not a 2nd amendment post).  They simply stated "life" and "liberty."  Why add pursuit? Why not just happiness.

This is what I have come up with in my own little head. Maybe it will serve as a primer for you to explore yourself.

We are, under the laws of this land, to have the unfettered right to life.  The meaning of that sentence is not the subject of this post.  But the simple truth is that the right is present and permanent.  The same is true of liberty.  These rights are assumed present at all times.

But happiness is not assumed.  There is a lot of wisdom to that. Happiness comes and goes.  I cannot assume happiness.  I am not entitled to it ( I have been thinking a lot about that word "entitled" lately).  In fact, if I am not careful, I can float through life so long without it that I stop missing it.  Happiness takes effort.  It takes pursuit.

The problem is that even if pursued, there is no guarantee.  I may still be unhappy.  For reasons beyond control, I may be faced with sadness or disappointment.  That doesn't mean I shouldn't strive.  That I shouldn't try. Pursue.

I believe that wise men, which I believe the founding fathers to be, understand the intrinsic value of pursuit.  They understand that regardless of the outcome, pursuit makes us better. It brings growth.  And growth is our purpose.

So today I will pursue happiness because I can.  And because I should.

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