On this July 4th holiday I am called upon to reflect on “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unalienable rights with which all men (humanity) is endowed with by our Creator.
We are in a time of deep reflection about the meaning of these words. Why is it so hard to live a life in which we see the divinity in each human being? Why can we not feel called upon to create a society and social compact that rolls out an abundant horizon open to and enabling of a life lived to it’s fullest that allows us all to do so in community.
The complexity of human urges manifested by desires of pleasure and power and exclusivity seem to confuse our understanding, or more aptly, push us to ignore these words.
Perhaps part of the challenge is that these words were spoken at a time when they were not true. All “men” were not treated nor acknowledged as of equal creation – there were human beings treated as property. Women were not meant to be included within the meaning of the word "men" in those times. The men who wrote and spoke these words owned other human beings.
It occurs to me that these words written 244 years ago were not a description of the truth of that moment. Rather they were an aspiration for the future – our future. It was a call to become those truths.
Today at this very difficult moment in American history in which we live there is an opportunity to make progress in this journey of becoming the American dream. The call to a place and a time of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness for all divine creatures.
- I will honor and respect that person as I would want to be.
- We will live in peace as neighbors in a mutual community
- Happy in our pursuits among an infinite wealth of diversity
We talk on July 4th about love of country. I've learned though that love has real meaning. It isn't a romantic notion of carnal urges and personal pleasures. It is a process of engaging the divinity of others and seeing within them their full humanity. We vow in this notion to commit fully to doing our part to enable everyone to enjoy the life, liberty and the happiness that love creates.