Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The pursuit of happiness

Rummaging through my Printer Desk this morning, I happened upon a small booklet entitled "Your Land and Mine" which my wife had given me as a reference source last year. I thumbed through the pages until I saw the heading "The Declaration of Independence". Scanning the page, I slowed and began to read some familiar words; "We hold these truths to be self-evident;- that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;". It continued on of course, but I was suddenly confronted by the word usage relating to happiness.
As I so often do, I got out Noah's book and looked up "Pursuit". I don't know why I thought it was important, but I believe that the men who composed this greatest of documents, did not take the task lightly. I believe they labored over every word, not resting until the wording said exactly what they felt in their Patriotic hearts. DEFINITION: Pursuit; the act of pursuing 2: Pursuing; to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish 3: an activity that one engages in as a vocation, profession, or avocation:.
I sat there, digesting those definitions and pondering their relevance to our Country as it exists today. These words were saying that everyone has the right to happiness, but it will not simply come to you; you must pursue it. Once an individual obtains happiness, it is not captured and imprisoned, but rather, it becomes ones vocation, profession, or avocation. In other words it must be worked at, or with to be of value.
Happiness is a state of being, a destination, a condition most human creatures desire to find themselves in, and yet, it seems so few have pursued it diligently enough to be successful in acquiring it.
I have a thought concerning happiness and life which I would share with all of you at this time. "If happiness is the Flower of Life, then might I suggest that Joy is the fragrance of that flower."
I base that thought upon one of my life’s' experiences. Stationed in Germany in 1960 through 1962, I remember the times when someone at home would write me a letter. I would study the envelope, take note of the return address, and if it was from my wife or one of my Sisters, the first thing I would do is smell the envelope, searching for the scent of some new perfume which they would often apply to it. I can't explain why, but if a fragrance was detected, I experienced joy. After I had opened the letter and read its contents over and over, I was happy for a length of time.
The pursuit of happiness in life is very much like that experience. There is joy in the pursuit of it and life is what it was meant to be when happiness is achieved.

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