Blog Post #376:  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Blog Post #376:  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

On July 4th, 1776 the Constitutional Congress officially approved the “Declaration of Independence”.  This was a daring assertion on the part of thirteen very different colonies across an ocean from the ‘home’ country that they should be independent – free of the political constraints of that mother country.  

It was a shadow of what we have today.  These thirteen colonies send representatives to Philadelphia to draft some sort of resolution.  They didn’t take Amtrak, or fly into PHL. They didn’t drive their cars. They rode horses – or in carriages pulled by horses.  They came from the north – as far as New Hampshire, Boston, upstate New York; and the south – as far as Georgia and South Carolina.  From Boston to Philadelphia is over 300 miles. A traveler might make forty miles a day (walking speed of about 4 miles an hour for 10 hours).  So such a trip might take eight days – eight days on a horse – in rain, cold, heat.  

Back to Declaration of Independence – it states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “

Let’s think of those three words:

Life – we have the right to life.  We should be able to live – without fear of government involvement.  

Liberty – we have the right to be free.  We should be able to move around the country; to take jobs wherever we can be hired.  (My friend and colleague from one of the former Soviet Belarus doesn’t not have this freedom.  He can’t move from City A to City B within his country (not quite right – he can move from A to B – but at his expense.  If he stays in A, he gets an apartment, a salary and a job. In B, it is all out of his pocket (and unaffordable).

The Pursuit of Happiness.  Note – this isn’t a guarantee of ‘happiness’ – but to pursue happiness.  To me, happiness is a mental thing. We can decide to be happy or not. We get to choose happiness.  

Philippians 4: 4-7 says “ Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Let us not be anxious about anything – but adjust your attitude – and allow the peace of God to surround us!!!

So, let us have life, liberty – and pursue that choice that leads to happiness this July 4th.


Posted by Bruce White

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