The Pursuit of Happiness
The pursuit of happiness, together, for yourself and those around you, is what America’s independence means to me.
The pursuit of happiness isn’t created in solitude; it’s created together. That should be the basis for our communities. It also impacts the social component of your Ultimate Well-Being.
Many think that his/her ideals make them stronger, righteous, and therefore, happy. Some say not wearing a mask exemplifies freedom. Some argue that Native American mascots for teams aren’t racist and are accepted by Native Americans—they even use stats to prove it. Still, more say the statues and names of our war veterans should be preserved—even if they fought for a malevolent cause. It’s America’s culture of independence, freedom, and history that needs to be preserved.
But is it? A key phrase included in the Declaration of Independence is the “inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Does it mean to pursue my own happiness, in a vacuum? Does it mean to focus on my ideals at the expense of others? Is it a downright selfish clause that tells everyone else to go F*Off? No, because those around you—even those you don’t know—affect your happiness.
As someone who has spent half his adult life as much out of the USA as in, I see things through a very objective lens, and frankly, don’t give a hoot about everyone’s ideals. If we want a functioning society, we have to respect everyone, give opportunities, and allow everyone to pursue happiness, but not at the expense of others.
America’s independence allowed for each of us to pursue happiness as we wished, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of others. Anything that goes against that, is antithetical to the Constitution and what we stand for. Not wearing a mask puts others at risk. Demeaning Native Americans hurts their image and opportunity. Glorifying those who fought for slavery downplays black lives and signifies that it’s ok to be racist against them. Walking into protests with guns, well, that’s obvious.
Our symbols of the USA should be respectful to all. That is just one key to building a community. Believe it or not, this affects your Ultimate Well-Being Social; the Social variable of UWB includes your immediate community because if those around you are ticked off, something bad may happen to you.
As a country, we have to start putting our immediate communities first. To create better communities the equation is simple: safety, education, opportunity, and respect. In many places in America, communities lack all four. If the people around us are oppressed, at some point and this point maybe now, they will revolt. Can the oppressed be blamed? So we have to dig deeper, develop our emplasticity, and reach out to other communities to help them.
If we default to the Pursuit of Happiness for the whole, then we can make a better country, and increase everyone’s individual ultimate well-being. Hope you had a great Independence Day, not just to the USA, but also every nation out there.