Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

It's a yucky, rainy 4th of July here, so we're just kicking back and taking it easy. I was trying to come up with a clever 4th of July post idea and coming up completely blank. So I checked out my post from last year - and was surprised to find it is exactly where I am at again this year! At this time last year, I was stressed and feeling overwhelmed, most definitely not pursuing happiness. And although the circumstances this year are different, the resulting feelings are the same - I am stressed, overwhelmed and not pursuing happiness.

{image via collecting tokens}

I've been walking around a little like Eeyore, with a little raincloud over my head that I just can't seem to shake. So when I read last year's post on The Pursuit of Happiness it hit me all over again - I have much to be grateful for and I need to start acting like it. I have to stop wallowing in what I don't have and start pursuing happiness again.

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Text from last year. Original post is here.



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.
-Declaration of Independence
, 1776

In deciding what to post this morning, I decided to re-read the Declaration of Independence. It has been years, probably high school, since I read the whole the thing through. I am in awe of extraordinary bravery of those ordinary men.

But that's not what this post is about. The passage above is probably one of the most familiar passages of the entire document, words that most Americans recognize. In reading it through this morning, I was struck by the words 'pursuit of Happiness'.

The dictionary defines pursuit as:

1. the act of pursuing
2. an effort to secure or attain; quest
3. any occupation, pastime, or the like, in which a person is engaged regularly
or customarily

—Synonyms 1. chase, hunt. 2. search. 3. activity, preoccupation, inclination.

Pursuit requires action, effort, a search or quest. Happiness is not a right or a guarantee. I do have the right to wake up in the morning and decide to be happy. Happiness is a decision.

Most days I win this battle but the last few weeks have been stressful and I had forgotten that the pursuit of happiness is my right. Starting today, I will again make the conscious decision to be happy (at least most days!).

If you want to read the full Declaration of Independence or other information about it, visit US History.org.

3 comments:

Cole said...

Great post, Sara!

Happy 4th of July. :-)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I love hearing the declaration of independence. Those guys were so smart and way ahead of their time. Loved this post!

Kim and Jon said...

i am always amazed at how brilliantly and inspired the declaration of independence was. it certainly wasn't by chance.

i am sorry had a rainy 4th!

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