These words in the Declaration of Independence launched the United States of America as a new nation in the New World. A nation totally different than any other at the time, and one that would evolve and grow to become beacon of hope and an example that others would emulate.
The Pursuit of Happiness"
Unfortunately, we often downplay Happiness and think of it as a byproduct of other things, things like wealth, education, success, love, partying, children, etc. It is often thought of as frivolous in comparison to hard work, innovation, and creativity.
But, notice that it is "the Pursuit of Happiness," and not just happiness itself that is equated with Life and Liberty in the document. What is pursuit? "The effort made to try to achieve or obtain something over a period of time." What is happiness? "Feeling satisfied that something is right or has been done right." (Encarta Dictionary)
The founding document says we have a fundamental right to Life, Liberty, and to work to achieve that which is right. We don't want to be given happiness, like something out of a bottle, but we want to earn happiness by doing and accomplishing things that are right.
"Wiring is Firing"
David Pond's new book, The Pursuit of Happiness, shows us the value of continued effort in human transformation and spiritual growth: "Discoveries in neuroscience have revealed a principle called 'Wiring is Firing.' Basically this means that the more you think a particular thought or have a particular reaction, you are creating a physical pathway in the brain, insuring the continuance of the pattern. By continually thinking a particular thought, you are literally creating the wiring in your brain to sustain this activity. . . . It is as if the physical wiring of our brain coalesces around what we think about. Change your thoughts, and your brain make-up changes!"
Happiness is good in itself. Being happy releases hormones that change blood chemistry changing even the flesh of the New Man. Happiness is good medicine building a healthy immune system and accelerating healing. Studies show that happiness reduces the risk of illness from colds and the flue by up to 300%. Happiness is an emotion, and e-motion is energy-in-motion that radiates and changes the energy of a room, a town, a city, and even of the nation. Happiness counters "doom and gloom" and builds confidence, and confidence leads to new enterprise and benevolence in a chain reaction.
Happiness works with the Chakra System as an evolutionary force broadening our awareness and raising our consciousness in this New Age. Happiness is Love.
Happiness is work. It's not the by-product of anything. You have to work at happiness just like anything else. Yes, happiness comes from your sense of rightness, but it is also an attitude that you should cultivate. Attitudes are a filter for the way you perceive things, so unless you cultivate an attitude of happiness you aren't going to see happiness when you have it. Sure, you may feel good after a good meal, after good sex, after seeing a good movie, but those are momentary flashes. Happiness is a smile on your face 24/7 so that you feel the good all the time. Happiness is knowing that you are doing right all the time. Happiness is believing, despite appearances, that things are going to be better.
I am happy all the time. Your happiness is up to you.
Carl Llewellyn Weschcke