The pursuit of happiness is even written into the DNA of America. Way back in 1776, the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “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.” There it is-the pursuit of happiness. The good life is ours for the taking if only we can catch it and keep it. But catching it is like chasing shadows. No matter how fast we run, it always seems to be just beyond our reach. (Gray, Derwin “The Good Life” pg. 2)
Day 63 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Click here to read the latest updates regarding Russia’s unethical, inhumane, evil invasion of Ukraine.
Dr. Derwin Gray begins “The Good Life” with a beautiful illustration of how when he was a child, he found joy in chasing his shadow. Dr. Gray uses this as a symbol for many in the world who chase happiness like chasing a shadow: the harder some try to catch it, the harder they run after it, happiness continues, and is always, to be just out of reach. I like how Dr. Gray points out that America was founded on the principle of “the pursuit of happiness.” My whole life I have been proud of that mantra: all men created equal, endowed by God with these three unalienable Rights, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Dr. Gray will spend the rest of this great book explaining what true happiness should look like. But sitting here, pondering our founders’ initial purpose for this country, I feel like we were so misguided. While they recognized that we were made by a “Creator”, we completely ignored the calling of our Creator’s Son: to Love God and Love Others. It is no wonder we are constantly fighting our narcissistic nature when we were founded under the assumption that our happiness is the most important thing in our life, and we will do anything we need to in order to ensure we are happy, no matter who we have to steamroll to make that happen. What would America look like if we were founded on a little different mantra, say “Life, Liberty, and the servitude of others.” Or simply: “Life, Liberty, and Love.”
Dr. Gray uses Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” where He blessed the world with the “Beatitudes” to teach his readers a more authentic way to find happiness: lasting happiness that will also help pave the way to eternal happiness in our eternal life. I will be sharing as much of those truths as I can on this blog in the next five weeks.
As I stated on Monday, I am going to be sharing a different track from Ms. Anne Wilson’s debut album over the next three days. Today we’ll start with the first song on the set list, entitled “Scatter.” This track is one you want to turn up, and preferably listen on a sound system that has some bass, decibels, and allows you to truly experience the brilliance of this young lady’s refreshing talent.