Let’s start with this:.. This world doesn’t owe you anything…
Just because you woke up this morning doesn’t mean you “get to” do the same tomorrow. Inertia doesn’t create entitlement. Sometimes the bad guys win. Life can be hard, wear a cup. However, sometime, life is… breathtaking. Beautiful, beyond measure, description or price. That’s what makes it worth living. But that’s not a “Wookie Life Debt” that Mother Gaia must spend the rest of her days providing for you. Some days you win, some you loose.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are outlined as “inalienable rights” in the declaration of independence. Let’s look at what that actually says.
- Life – You should be allowed to be alive. Take this for granted? Look back but a couple hundred years. Not long ago it was a pretty brazen idea to offer people such an idea as a “god given right”. People were serfs, slaves, or worse.
- Liberty – one of the most powerful, and misunderstood words in the English language. Liberty means the ability, choice, opportunity and freedom to chase after what you want, so long as it doesn’t infringe upon another person quest for same. It’s the right to try to better your life in whatever way you think is best.
- The pursuit of happiness… Here’s where our modern world falls down, skins it’s knee and nurses the wound (like Peter Griffin), for way to long. The “pursuit” of happiness is just that; a pursuit. You are entitled to pursue it. It’s not guaranteed to you. You’re not entitled to have it, just because you woke up this morning, took out your recycling, did a prayer while kneeling towards mecca then went to temple (mixed ideologies on purpose). But what did the founding fathers of this country really mean by this phrase?..
That you have the right to “pursue” happiness. You don’t get it, just “because”, but you have the right to create it for yourself and no one of any status, state or stature can tell you that you can’t. This world doesn’t owe you anything. But, it’s given you access to everything. You make your own reality with the choices you make. If you’re reading this then, most likely, you’re a fairly comfortably, working class person, and that is great. You got to be that. The world didn’t “owe” that to you. Pursue your happiness. Attack it like you’re a white tiger and it is the head of a strangely ambiguously gay man in a fancy satin outfit. Or something…
When you start to apply the arcane, outmoded and incomplete philosophies of Left / Right, Donkey / Elephant to this idea it quickly turns into an absolutely stupid argument where the “right” says “We made our fortunes, why can’t you? Fight your own fights, starve if you fail, but my money is mine and I’ll screw you to get yours too”. The “left” says “We are all inhabitants of the same planet, none better, none worse. Greed, hoarding and aggression are bad and only lead to corruption, pollution and killing and everyone has a right to basic comforts, shelter and food”. Both (obviously simplified) approaches are missing the core point. The pursuit of happiness doesn’t give you the entitlement to rape, plunder and steal. The pursuit of happiness also does not entitle you to food on your table. It just says that no government can prevent you from making your own way. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but for the past few decades, that has gotten harder and harder to do in this country.
Now, go make something great happen. While you still can.