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Monday, 6 December 2010
The Pursuit of Happiness

Each of us seeks God, or fulfillment, or happiness – or even just life – in our own way.  The challenge in life is for us as people not to become impatient with each other in how we do this.  This is what we call “love,” accommodating each other in our search to be more whole.   The extent to which we do this is the extent to which we succeed as friends, as lovers, as spouses, as parents and children – as people.

 As a people, ultimately, for America was founded partly on the idea that we should allow each other to pursue happiness as much as we can. 

Thomas Jefferson may have been a flawed man in a flawed time (as are we all), but his genius, his contribution to human culture was the recognition that as people, perhaps our greatest contribution to each other is to allow each other to pursue happiness.   That he put this in the seminal document of the history of the United States of America has been our great good luck.

The Pursuit of Happiness is referred to only in the Declaration of Independence.  It is not part of the Constitution, and perhaps it doesn’t belong in our binding law, but as a moral obligation of each American to each other American.  If we can’t remember that our forefathers, those men who stumbled their way to create a great nation, intended for us not to bind each other in straightjackets of our own fears and weaknesses, but to free each other and ourselves to be great and happy – then that is when we stop being who we started to be on July 4th, 1776.  And that would be a shame.

Posted by V.P. Frickey at 7:19 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 10 December 2010 3:20 AM EST
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