Blog post #723 Declaration of Independence – part III – July 3rd

Declaration of Independence – part 3 (July 3rd 2019)

The past two days we have looked at the Declaration of Independence.  We continue that today.

Today let’s look at the phrase: “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Life – we are endowed by our Creator with life!!!  I am alive. I live and breathe. Living is a right.  Ending a life (murder, shootings, even suicide) are taking away my life.  Hopefully for all of us, we can live a long time in good health and with a good mind.

Liberty or freedom – I can (within reason) do pretty much anything.  If I want to take today off (and not write these blogs) I can. Now, liberty is up to us.  If I want to go fishing every day, but I have a job – I am still free to go fishing (but I might lose my job – unless I’m fishing after my job finishes for the day).  

A side note.  Several years ago, my campus hosted a visiting professor from Belarus (actually twice).  We got to be best friends. At one time he showed me his government card. It had a triangle of it.  That triangle indicated he ‘belonged’ to the Gomel district in Belarus. If he went to the clinic, everything was free.  His housing was somewhat provided. He really liked Minsk, the capital city of Belarus – and would have liked to move there and teach in one of the institutions.  But, if he did so, he would not have gotten free health services or subsidized housing. It would have been very expensive to make that move. In other words, he was not quite free.

Can you pick up and move to (say) California?  Sure provided you have the resources to do so!!

The pursuit of Happiness.

The founders (especially Thomas Jefferson who supposedly wrote most of the Declaration of Independence) didn’t guarantee you would be happy.  

Happiness is a state of mind.  Some people with bad health, little money, and other problems can still be very happy.  Likewise, there are people who have been greatly blessed who are not happy.

Some might rationalize happiness like “when I get enough money, I will be happy”; “When I change jobs and get away from my terrible boss, I will be happy”; “When I retired, I will be happy.”

But, happiness is a state of mind.  You can decide whether or not to be happy.  The government can not guarantee happiness. The government might actually challenge your happiness as they demand that you pay taxes.  But … paying taxes is a privilege – that you do have an income. You get to choose happiness – YOU -only YOU can choose it. Yes, your spouse can make you happy – but you have to receive his/her love.  If you hate your spouse then anything nice they can do to and for you may not be received with happiness.

So, today – we are endowed with certain “unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.  

As we will celebrate America’s birthday, reflect on these things.

Tomorrow – July 4th – another look at the Declaration of Independence!!!

See you then!!

Karen

Posted by Bruce White

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