Pursuit of Happiness
The Fourth of July is a major summer holiday with cookouts, baseball games, swimming, visiting friends and family, and of course fireworks at night. However, what we need to remember and celebrate is the birth of the United States and our declaration of independence from a major power who, our founding fathers believed, was taking away our precious, inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson believed that the colonists had the right to live their lives without the impediment of an oppressive government. Further, they should be free to pursue a life that would make them feel more than just satisfied or content, but to feel emboldened to follow a calling that utilized their abilities, talents and gifts to make the world a better place.
Hence, as part of our July 4 merriment, we should all take time to encourage those around us to think about how they can use skills and gifts they have been blessed with to improve and enrich the world. And all of us should try to be an example of what true happiness really is, which, as John Kennedy said, quoting the ancient Greeks, “was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.” I believe that inspiring others to live out that kind of happiness would make this important day in history especially significant!
Kathleen Maloney, Westlake